Coach for Passion, Money or Both?


Step-by-step checklist for starting, marketing and running successful basketball camps.

From the very beginning, I always believed there was no money in coaching youth sports. My youth coaches volunteered their time because they loved the sport, and were passionate about making a difference in our lives.

I always had a healthy admiration, and appreciation for all youth coaches. They took time to give back helping our youth become better human beings on and off the playing field.

Fast forward to the early 90’s. My great friend, Rodney Tucker, started volunteering as a youth basketball coach (in San Jose, CA). The joy, and fulfillment I witnessed him experience rubbed off on me. Shortly after, I volunteered, and coached my first youth basketball team at the YMCA (in Berkeley, CA).

From this point, for me, coaching youth sports was like a civic duty. There was no financial expectation. It was just the way it was!

Eventually, I became a high school varsity basketball coach (in Chapel Hill, NC). The offered compensation was $1,500. I politely declined, and informed the school I will work for free! By accepting the money, it was like someone owned me for so little compensation. I wanted it to be known that I was coaching because I wanted to be there, and no one had any financial leverage on me. This worked out great, and was a win, win situation for everyone!

Shortly after becoming a high school varsity basketball coach, I started running basketball camps. Initially, the purpose of the camps was to act as a feeder program for my varsity basketball team.

Once the word got out about the quality of our basketball camps, the demand for them enrollment skyrocketed! It was at this moment I realized coaching for the passion of the game, and coaching to earn a living were not mutually exclusive. This is when I knew it was possible to coach youth sports as a career by running basketball camps!

About the author 

Coach Berry

John Berry (a.k.a. Coach Berry) has been a basketball coach and skill development trainer since 1993 and has coached hundreds of games and instructed 1,000’s of kids. Coach Berry is, and always has been committed to helping youth in life and on the basketball court.

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