Coaches reflect on FIBA Africa coaching course

DAKAR (Senegal) – FIBA Africa in collaboration with the SEED Academy organised a coaching clinic dabbed AFRO-Symposium on the sidelines of the just concluded FIBA Women’s AfroBasket from August 16-17. 

Conducted by French-Senegalese trainer Jean Aime Toupane who is the Technical Director at the French Basketball Federation, the high level course was held at the Marius Ndiaye Stadium in the Senegalese capital. 

The FIBA Africa Coaches Council President Habib Cherif also presented a report of the coaching activities carried out over the past decade as well as the FIBA-WABC classification and FIBA Africa degree equivalences. 

Sixty participants including 10 coaches of the U16 and U18 national teams of Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Madagascar, Mali, Rwanda, Senegal, Tunisia and Uganda attended as special guests invited by FIBA Africa.  

“IT IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR US TO ATTEND SUCH COACHING COURSES BECAUSE IN THIS GAME ONCE YOU SETTLE FOR WHAT YOU KNOW THEN YOU BECOME STATIC. IT IS IMPORTANT TO ALWAYS LEARN AND LISTEN FROM OTHERS ESPECIALLY IF THEY HAVE A TON OF EXPERIENCE MORE THAN YOU.”- Wathum

Speaking exclusively to FIBA.basketball, Uganda U18 head coach Brian Wathum said, “First of all, I would like to thank FIBA for giving me that experience. I had never witnessed elite basketball games like the FIBA Women’s AfroBasket. Senegal is a country blessed with basketball and the fans were amazing.”

“It is very important to attend such coaching courses because in this game once you settle for what you know then you become static. It is important to always learn and listen from others especially if they have a ton of experience more than you.”

A country like Uganda that made their debut at the FIBA Africa U18 African Championship in 2016 in Rwanda have so much to learn from a nation like Mali and Senegal who have well established nationwide grassroots development programs that are churning out talent to the USA and Europe year in, year out. 

For coaches like Wathum, this opportunity will go a long way in helping him prepare the Junior Silverbacks for the FIBA Africa U18 Championship Zone 5 Qualifiers next summer to try and return to the continental stage. 

“I would like to see preparation for competitions begin at an early stage. Being the U18 head coach means now I have to pay a lot of attention to U16 and U12 to help forge a future for Ugandan basketball and I am excited because for any country to become competitors, you need to have a strong youth foundation and I am glad to start that journey today.”

“Uganda has a future in coaching and basketball in general. The coaches association is vibrant in organising and making sure coaches attend courses. In September, we will have the FIBA 360 Level 1 Coaching course and many coaches will be a part of it. Of course we have a lot to learn as coaches in general in Africa but once we keep on attending these courses, we have room to improve.”

“I actually learnt a lot from the clinic. They were expert instructors who took us through class sessions about management of teams on and off the court and player development for youth coaches. Then a lot of tactics were discussed on the court from pick and roll offence and defence, trap defence, zone defence and offence. It was generally uplifting to learn from the experts.”

Group dynamics, group cohesion and conflict management alongside screens and defensive transition were some of the topics that were taught by Toupane.

About offensive setups, the traditional game, pick and roll, post plays and screen plays were the focus for the group of young and dynamic coaches who have been labeled as the next generation of coaches expected to go a long way in changing the status quo.

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