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Is it your dream to become an NBA coach so you can train basketball players and potentially win a major game? While it may seem like a glamorous job to be an NBA coach you need exceptionally impressive credentials and powerful communication skills to make the cut. 

Additionally, you’ll need plenty of experience to even be considered for the job. Although the salary of an NBA coach is high, the pressure to develop a team of basketball players is immediate after being hired. You will be responsible for your basketball team from the day you start coaching them. 

On the other hand, even though being an NBA coach comes with its challenges many basketball professionals seek to become a leader for a basketball team. If you’re up for the challenge then you may find today’s article helpful. Here’s how you can become an NBA coach.   

Career Requirements to Become an NBA Coach

Degree Level: Bachelor’s Degree 

Degree Field: Sports medicine, physiology, exercise science or Kinesiology  

Experience Needed: Playing basketball in a team or experience in being an assistant coach or high school basketball coach will be helpful

Required Skills: Acute knowledge of basketball and its rules, excellent communication skills, leadership skills, quick decision making, motivational and managerial skills, the ability to teach

License: International or Gold Coach License

Potential Salary: $1 – 2 million annually  

What Does a Basketball Coach Do? 

The purpose of a basketball coach is to improve his team’s offense and defense skills. A basketball coach also has the responsibility of managing his team and ensuring they all work together. As a coach you’ll need to organize practice sessions to develop your team’s skills and optimize their playability. 

Additionally, you may need to help individual players outside of a team environment to strengthen their basketball proficiency. You’ll be responsible for developing strategies based on your team’s strengths and weaknesses. 

Lastly, you’ll also be your team’s mentor and motivator to ensure they all focus on the value of the team as opposed to their individual achievements. 

Steps on How to Become an NBA Coach 

So you’ve made your decision and you’re looking for ways to become a professional NBA coach. Unfortunately, you can’t simply apply for the job and expect to get it immediately. There is a process to becoming an NBA coach. The following steps will help you on your way to reaching your goal. 

Earn Your Bachelor’s Degree

To increase your chances of becoming an NBA coach you’ll need to earn a bachelor’s degree first. Most people study in a field that’s related to basketball or coaching. There are programs in exercise science and then there are degrees that specialize in coach training. 

A coach training program teaches you how to manage a team of players and develop a strong game plan. You can also train in injury prevention. Without a degree you may not get the NBA coaching job. So decide which program you’d like to study and earn that degree. 

Play the Game of Basketball

While you’re studying to earn your bachelor’s degree, you’ll need to start playing the game of basketball. The professionals that hire NBA coaches expect them to know how to play the game. You can’t learn by theory alone. So learn more by playing basketball consistently.  

Luckily, you don’t have to be a professional player. But firsthand experience can give you the knowledge you need to strategize and communicate with your team effectively. 

Try playing in different basketball positions such as small forward or a point guard. By knowing how the different basketball positions operate you’ll be able to coach your team on how to improve their playability.  

Get Basketball Coaching Experience 

To become a professional NBA coach you’ll need a considerable amount of coaching experience already. You can gain coaching experience in high school and college by becoming a coach’s assistant. 

Manage your own school team so you can develop your skills and train in-game and practice. What’s more, you can volunteer to become an assistant coach at your local high school or college.

Get Certified To Add Papers to Your Resume 

If you’re going to become a coach at your local high school to gain experience you’ll need to get certified. You may need to complete your bachelor’s degree in coaching and you’ll need a CPR and first aid certificate. 

Another certification to look into is the USA Basketball Gold Coach License. This is a program where you get basketball education and training to coach teams. You can study for this license online or attend a USA basketball coach academy. 

Start Advancing in Your Career 

Once you’ve gained experience and you’ve earned all the necessary certification you should start advancing in your career. You will need an excellent track record for coaching and the only way to do that is to apply for high school basketball coaching jobs. 

You may have to work a few years as a high school or college basketball coach before you can advance to the big leagues. Furthermore, you may need a winning track record to be considered for an NBA position. 

How Long Does it Take to Become an NBA Coach? 

The length of time to become a professional NBA coach can take years. Earning a bachelor’s degree, certification and gaining experience could take you between 3 to 5 years or more but it will all depend on how quickly you advance. 

As mentioned before, you need to develop strong coaching skills so you can train a team and gain wins. Having an excellent track record and years of experience will increase your chance of being accepted to be an NBA coach.

Final Thoughts

We hope that you found some valuable information on how to become an NBA coach. If your goal is to become an NBA coach in the shortest time possible, the tips in this article may help you get there faster. We wish you all the best of luck on your journey! 

This article was contributed by the author of Just Love Basketball Steve.