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Coach Michael Fox: Using Basketball to Teach Life Lessons

Coach Michael Fox: Using Basketball to Teach Life Lessons
July 21, 2022 | | 4 min read

Using basketball to teach life lessons is the biggest thing that I do on any level that I coach at.

Growing up, Coach Michael Fox was obsessed with basketball, playing pickup with his friends 6 or 7 times a week. Growing up in Indianapolis, he knew how much work it took in order to play at a high level. After tireless work and dedication, he was able to play division 2 basketball and was one of the key players on the team. 

Then, one day while playing, he tore all the ligaments in his ankle. Even throughout rehab, he knew that there was no way that he would ever be able to play the game at the level he was used to. So, Coach Fox started looking at the game from a different angle.

He began to fall in love with the role of a coach. Thus, in 2009 he moved back to Indianapolis and began coaching aau. Throughout the years, Coach Fox has been able to train athletes on all levels and coach middle school, high school, college basketball and a year in Shanghai, China. More than anything, Coach Fox has enjoyed using basketball to teach life lessons throughout the entire process. 

Today’s All In Takeaways are around Coach Fox’s experience through over a decade of coaching and training athletes on all levels. 

All In Takeaway #1: Using Basketball to Teach Life Lessons

Coach Fox realizes that there is more to life than just basketball. Thus, he actively tries to use the sport to teach his athletes life lessons. For instance, Coach Fox loves to help develop confidence in each one of his athletes. Not only is confidence important in the game of basketball, but it is crucial in going throughout life. 

When Coach Fox was coaching Middle School, he would have all of the athletes write down their goals. Not goals in basketball, but goals in life. Doing this, forces the athlete to look at their life beyond basketball and think about their purpose. Coaches, make sure that you are using basketball to teach life lessons.

All In Takeaway #2: The Importance of Watching Film

When talking to some of the athletes that he trains, Coach Fox learned some shocking news. The athletes, who were in their junior or senior year in college, have NEVER watched film before. Immediately, Coach Fox began recording them play and would have the athletes watch the details of their game. Over time, the athletes began fine-tuning the details within their game and improved dramatically. Coaches, make sure your athletes are consistently reviewing film and improving the details of their game. 

All In Takeaway #3: Advice on Building Relationships with Athletes

Ultimately, it is important to try and relate to your athletes. For Coach Fox, he does this through his love of sneakers. For example, when he is wearing a particular Jordan sneaker, he will oftentimes have his athletes ask him questions about them. He takes this opportunity to tell them all about the history of the game. In addition, he finds ways to connect by asking about their favorite WNBA/NBA players.  Coaches, are you taking the time to relate and connect with your athletes? 


Coach Fox just accepted the role as the Head Women’s Basketball Coach at Arsenal Tech High School, in Indianapolis, Indiana. As Coach Fox looks to build a strong team culture full of pride in everything that they do, it will be exciting to see how the team performs in the 2022-23 season. Go Titans!

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