Coaching Children with Disabilities

Basketball is an inclusive sport. Children of all abilities are able to participate in basketball. We may need to adjust our teaching strategies or adjust rules of an activity-based upon the abilities of the children in the good. A child may not be able to catch a ball, for example, and this may because of a physical disability or simply because they have not learnt the skill!

The fundamental principle of basketball is to teach enjoyment in basketball, not to produce champions and coaches should always be:.

  • P atient
  • O rganised
  • S afety Aware
  • I informed
  • T eaching
  • I maginative
  • V isionary
  • E enthusiastic


  • Be the kind of coach you would want for yourself or your child 
  • Develop your own Coaching Philosophy
  • Positive, positive, positive reinforcement. Frame your comments in positive terms and develop positive influences
  • Focus on what your athletes can do, now what they can‟t do yet


  • Plan your practice
  • Simplicity – Breaking down the elements
  • Use a “Whole – Part – Whole” approach
  • Focus on the skills and concepts, not necessarily the activity. Different activities can be used to teach the same skills and concepts
  • Use sequential learning principals linked to planning both short and long term goals

Safety Aware

  • Do a basic first aid course, or have a manager that has done a course
  • Understand the Coaches Code of Conduct
  • Be vigilant in ensuring your environment is free of hazards
  • Hands off athletes
  • Address all injuries


  • Know the basic skills and elements of your sport
  • Know how they fit together
  • Share knowledge with other coaches
  • Observe other coaches and aim to work with a mentor coach
  • Develop your own skills, drills and techniques and extend your knowledge


  • Communicate openly with athletes, parents, officials, administrators and the broader community
  • Be willing to instruct, guide, advise, counsel and lead on and off the court
  • Multi-skilling: developing simple to complex ideas
  • Utilise your athletes to develop leadership and a good team culture


  • Variety is the spice!!
  • Fun factor for both you and your athlete. Make practice fun!!
  • Practice a full range of skills at every practice session
  • Develop your own ideas and develop the ideas you collect


  • Establish objective; Player objectives, Team objectives, Coaches objectives
  • Set short and long term goals
  • Create a team culture
  • Empower players and get athletes to come on board with you


  • Let your energy lead
  • Be Calm but not placid
  • Directive versus hyper
  • Be a role model for your athletes