The NBL Weekend Takeover for 19/20 January will see Reading Rockets U18 Women take the reins of the NBL Instagram story as they head to Essex on Saturday for the U18 Women National Cup Final
We caught up with Rockets' Coach Blai Benlloch ahead of their takeover weekend, in our latest Coach Spotlight feature.
Name: Blai Benlloch
Team: Reading Rockets U18 Women
What brought you into coaching?
The basketball influence of my family is the main factor why I am coaching right now. My father was a coach in am important division in Spain and I have some relatives who have been professional players
What were your original thoughts when you moved into coaching?
When I started coaching I was playing basketball too, so for me it was really interesting see basketball rom another point of view. My main motivation was to share the basketball knowledge I had and to understand the game more
What did you find most interesting to learn as a coach?
For me the most interesting thing to learn as a coach is to realise that there is not a magic potion that will help you improve every team or every player. Each team and each player is completely different and they need different things from you. Therefore, you need to be really open minded to try new things and keep learning from everyone, especially from coaching your players
What was the most rewarding part of your coaching journey so far?
The most rewarding part for me is to see that basketball has helped my players in important parts of their lives, acquiring healthy habits, socializing them with their studies (scholarships, learn new languages etc.)
Which parts of coaching do you like the most?
I love to teach individual skills as I think they are the fundamental part of basketball, especially with young players. It is really rewarding to me to see how one player learns one skill and he can use it in a game and improve his game and his teammates
Where are you now? How are you using your coaching skills?
I believe that being a coach is always a path where you learn through experiences. I am enjoying coaching abroad a lot, trying to transmit the Spanish basketball knowledge that I have and learning a lot from experiences in English Basketball.
What is your coaching niche and why did you choose it?
The main thing I like about coaching is to teach and transmit knowledge. I really like this because I teach in a secondary school practically all the players in my team, so that helps me a lot to understand and to create links with them that afterwards are useful on the basketball court
What is your coaching vision for the next 2 years?
My goal is to keep progressing as a coach and trying to improve teams and players. Normally I enjoy more coaching young teams than senior teams so I will try to keep coaching younger teams
What is your favourite coaching question from athletes?
Until a few weeks ago it was "can we be the non bib team?" Especially when we were using the P.E bibs from the school. Fortunately for them, Secret Santa coaches bought them some new bibs!
What advice do you have for those coaches currently in training?
For me it is really important to take nothing for granted with your players. Many times we think our players know something because they are U18 or even Senior but they don’t know. Also really important to me is to listen your players and to work on individual skills every single session.
What legacy would you like to leave behind you?
My best legacy I could have is in some years to find some of the players I coached and for them to tell me that I helped them to improve in some aspect of their lives. I had coaches that were important in my life and I know that's worth more than any trophy.
You can follow Coach Benlloch's progress this weekend when Reading Rockets takeover the NBL Instagram story!