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How listening can dramatically improve your coaching

Becoming a coach who knows how to listen deeply, is what we at NBC Basketball call 360° listening. 360° listening is your ability to listen to your entire environment – what is spoken verbally, nonverbally and unconsciously. You listen to parents, coaches, refs, students fully and this deep listening broadens your intuition and insight as a basketball coach.

Here are a few ways to become a 360° listener
Pay attention to attention.

  •  What energizes your players attention?
  •  What distracts their attention?
  • How much energy do you need to hold your players attention?
  • Are your players ready and motivated to listen or are you constantly having to require their attention?

Pay attention to your own listening style.

  • How are you modeling attentive listening?
  • How do you teach listening to your team?

Pay attention to your misson of listening. Is listening a key part of your program and an intentional skill to cultivate in your life and on your team?

  • What intentional training do you use to improve the listening of your team?
  • Who evaluates your listening effectiveness?
  • How do you know that you are listening well and listening in a 360° way?

Hunt for impact— is what you are teaching in practice translating player transformation? If what you are saying isn’t changing your culture or your students’ ability, there is a listening problem. Great coaches measure impact.
Here is an impact test

  • Did your players improve over the course of your season or did they get worse?
  • Do you find yourself saying things like, “I tell them to block out but they never listen. I have told her a hundred times to screen away and she still doesn’t do it.”
  • Does your team look enthusiastic to hear what you have to say?
  • Are you curious about listening to what your players have to say about you?
  • Are your players better players and people because you are their coach?

You change as a coach when you begin to really listen.

NBC Basketball

Programs like NBC Basketball which implement “how to listen” training see as much as 50% improvement in listening skills for their students and players. NBC Camps began in 1971 with Coach Fred Crowell who believed that great basketball included the education of the heart and mind not just the body. Hundreds of thousands of athletes have attended NBC Camps now located through the USA, in Canada, Thailand, Japan, Austria, the UK, and Italy. For more information about this dynamic basketball training program, visit  

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