Team Relationships Advice with Coach Dwayne Felder
Let’s talk about the importance of team relationships as a coach. Coach Dwayne Felder has been around basketball his entire life, playing throughout school and even 4 years in college. Once he was done playing, he began looking into coaching. As a point guard, he was always obsessed with understanding the other roles on the team, as a good point guard usually does. Thus, moving on to a coaching position seemed to be a natural next step since a crucial aspect to coaching is understanding how all of the pieces or roles within a team are coming together.
Through the importance of team relationships he was able to develop as an athlete, Coach Felder landed his first coaching job as an assistant. He has now been coaching for 5 years, the last 3 being on the college level. What has been the key to his success as a young coach who is just scratching the surface of his potential? Relationships, relationships, and relationships.
All In Takeaway #1: Understand the difference between the default coach’s and athlete’s mindset
In making a quick adjustment from an athlete to a coach, Coach Felder was quickly able to recognize the shift in mindset that every coach must make. As an athlete, it is by default that they are going to think of themselves first and the team second. On the flip side, as a coach, it is by default that they are going to think of the team as a whole first and the athletes’ individual perspectives second. As a result, coaches MUST encourage their players to see the game from the team perspective and step outside of themselves. Doing this with compassion and through building relationships with will be crucial.
All In Takeaway #2: Empower your assistant coaches to build team relationships
Through getting to know his assistant coaches, Coach Felder quickly learned about their aspirations. Getting a head coaching job one day and moving on to the next level was the next step. Since he was in a similar place not too long ago, he understood what it was like to be in that position. Thus, he decided to do exactly what his head coach did back when he was an assistant; delegate responsibility to the assistants, let them lead, and trust them!
All In Takeaway #3: Building a player led culture sets the foundation of a good program
When you first come into a program as a coach, ask your players questions about themselves and what they want. Do this in a group setting and individually. Not only will this allow you to understand your athletes at a deeper level, but it will also allow you to start developing lasting relationships. Sometimes coaches can be obsessed with recruiting new classes of athletes. While this is important, it should be the #1 priority to re-recruit the guys that are already there!
About 3 weeks ago, Coach Felder was just announced as the Men’s Head Basketball Coach for Toccoa Falls College. He looks to use his team relationships first mindset as he establishes a strong team culture within the program. Coach Felder looks to lead Toccoa Falls into the promised land in the 2022-2023 season. Keep an eye on them! #SoarTogether
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