How to Balance Structure and Creativity as a Coach

Former NBA player Mark West explains how to balance structure and creativity as a coach to let the players’ fearlessness shine through.

In this clip, West urges coaches to give their athletes a rough guideline to follow, but not rules, so they can make their own decisions along the way. They may make mistakes, but as long as they’re using their “creative juices” they will succeed in the end. Players need to be fearless on the court and can’t look back at the decisions, good or bad, they made in the past. It’s up to a coach to provide enough structure for success, but to avoid overcoaching so creativity can take over.

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Positive Coaching Alliance develops BETTER ATHLETES, BETTER PEOPLE through resources for youth and high school sports coaches, parents, administrators and student-athletes. In addition to 1,000+ free audio-video and printable tips and tools at, PCA has partnered with roughly 3,000 schools and youth sports organizations nationwide to deliver live group workshops, online courses and books that help those involved in youth and high school sports create a positive, character-building youth sports culture.

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