One of the challenges that many overseas basketball players face is dealing with a coach who yells a lot, especially if the coach does not speak English. It can be intimidating, frustrating, and demotivating, but there are ways to navigate this situation.

My dad was my first coach, and he was especially hard on me. Driving home from a lost game was a nightmare for me until one day whenI had a talk with my mother about it. What she told me changed my attitude and also stayed with me my whole career. What she said was actually simple.

She said, “Listen to WHAT your dad tells you and not HOW he tells you.The tone might not be what you want to hear, but the information he is saying is coming from a place that wants you to succeed.”

It means that you should pay attention to the content of the coach’s message and not get distracted by the tone, volume, or delivery of it. It may be easier said than done, but here are some tips that can help you apply this advice:

-Stay Focused On The Message

When your coach is yelling at you, it’s easy to get defensive or emotional. However, if you want to improve as a basketball player, you need to stay focused on the message that your coach is trying to convey. Try to listen carefully to the instructions, feedback, or corrections that your coach is giving you. Take notes if you need to, and ask questions if you don’t understand something. Remember that your coach’s goal is to help you become a better player, even if the delivery is not always pleasant.

-Don’t Take It Personally

Your coach’s yelling may feel like a personal attack, but it’s important to remember that it’s not about you as a person. Your coach is passionate about the game and wants to see you perform at your best. Yelling may be their way of motivating you or getting your attention. Try not to take it personally and instead focus on how you can improve your skills on the court.

-Stay Calm And Professional

It’s understandable to feel frustrated or angry when your coach yells at you, but it’s important to remain calm and professional. Don’t react impulsively or show disrespect to your coach, as this can only make the situation worse. Instead, take a deep breath, stay composed, and respond to your coach with respect and professionalism.

-Communicate Effectively

If you find that your coach’s yelling is affecting your performance or mental well-being, it’s important to communicate effectively with them. Schedule a meeting with your coach and calmly explain how you feel and how their behavior is affecting you. Be specific about the situations that are causing you discomfort and suggest alternative ways of communication that may work better for you. Remember to be respectful and open to your coach’s perspective as well.

-Avoid The “Yeahbut” Disease

As a former coach, I can tell you that players, nothing drives coaches more up the wall as when a player says, “Yeah, but…” The Yeah incurs an acceptance of what you have been told, and the But just wipes the acceptance away. The worst part of that phrase though, is that it spreads like wildfire amongst the team and can destroy a healthy team culture. Avoid saying that at all costs!

-Find Support

Playing overseas can be a lonely experience, but finding support can help you deal with a coach who yells a lot. Talk to your teammates, friends, or family about the situation and get their perspectives. They can offer advice, encouragement, and a listening ear when you need it. You can also seek support from a mental health professional who can help you develop coping strategies and improve your mental well-being. Remember, you don’t have to face this situation alone.

You will have enough challenging experiences while playing overseas, but dealing with a coach who yells a lot doesn’t have to be one of them. Remember, your coach’s goal is to help you become a better player, and by focusing on the message, you can achieve your goals on and off the court.

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