5 Keys for a Head Coach

By Lin Dunn


  • Goals/Vision
  • Masterplan
  • Offensive and Defensive System
  • Philosophy
  • Identity
  • Develop drills to grow your system
  • Instill your CORE VALUES

Here is WHAT we are going to do..and heres HOW we will do it!


  • Find it!
  • Recruit it!
  • Sign it!
  • DEVELOP it! This is the lifeblood of your program
  • Bring in players who fit your system and your CORE VALUES
  • Connect with your captain or star player. You must be on the same page, must build trust

Great Talentmakes great coaches!


  • Hire great people to help you and challenge you
  • Know your weaknesseshire people who fill those voids and that compliment you in areas of technical knowledge, experience and communication styles
  • Delegate practice and bench responsibilities
  • Give ownership to your assistants
  • Never underestimate the importance of loyal/hardworking support staff!
  • All staff understand their role and embrace your CORE VALUES

Surround yourself with GREAT people and make them better!


  • Wise use of practice time creates opportunity for success
  • Use practices to implement your system; 
  • Practice must be planned, organized, detailed and timed
  • Practice must be game like, intense and competitive. Instill a sense of urgency, every possession matters!
  • See your CORE VALUES in your team practices
  • Develop fundamentals and team skills
  • Whole-part-whole

Failing to prepare..is preparing to fail!


  • Know the game. Keep learning. Improve your knowledge of the X and Os. Seek clinics, books and videos that will help you grow.
  • Watch – study tv college-men/women, NBA/WNBA games
  • Ability to teach the game in practice
  • Coach the game from the bench. Make adjustments, adapt, be decisive.
  • Make decisions under pressure in highly competitive atmosphere; anticipate, multitask
  • Find a mentor-coach (email me!)
  • Ask for help and support

When you are through learning, you are through!

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Lin Dunn

Current consultant for the WNBA's Indiana Fever and a "Coach for Coaches" (college and pro head coaches) I can be reached at c4coaches@gmail.com

Latest posts by Lin Dunn (see all)

Sept. 28, 2012 – Indianapolis, Indiana, United States – September 28 2012: Indiana Fever head coach Lin Dunn during a game between the Atlanta Dream and the Indiana Fever at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana.(Credit Image: � Pat Lovell/Cal Sport Media/ZUMAPRESS.com)