To teach kindergartners through high school players the fundamentals and fun of basketball.

My my My my


County Coach Guidelines

Vienna Youth, Inc. is most interested in teaching the children in our program solid and effective basketball skills so that when they enter high school they are familiar with almost every technique their high school coach asks of them. Our coaching staff is expected to perform at the level of a high school coach and to have a knowledge base at least as large as a high school coach. To that end, VYI pays for annual clinics for our coaches to attend as well as conducting our own internal clinics to train our coaches on the latest methods to teach basketball. In addition to clinics, VYI has put together an extensive booklet of hundreds of pages of drills, offensive schemes, defensive schemes, press breakers, press and trapping techniques, and a wide variety of other basketball information to help the coach prepare for the season.

VYI has set their coaching structure up to have a semi-permanent coach at each Division I age level rather than having one coach stay with the same team throughout the FCYBL experience. As coaches step down from Division I, VYI posts the open position after the season, conducts interviews of interested coaches and selects the best available from the candidates in VYI's sole discretion.  Sometimes Division I coaches move up an age level, as coaching selections are based on seniority in our system, as well as finding the best available coach for a given age group and gender. In that event, a Division I coach may stay with a team more than one year, but that is not generally desirable from VYI's perspective. It is also not desirable to have a parent coach a Divison I team, but on occasion, VYI may, at its discretion, select a parent for one of these volunteer jobs.

At the Division II level, VYI does not currently have the luxury of setting up a system where coaches stay at a given age level, as coaches change much more often at that level. A coach of a Division II team, while it is not desirable in VYI's viewpoint, may be a parent of a team member. However, in no case may a Division II coach stay with the same team more than two years in a row.

VYI would like to have all County coaches in place no later than May 1 of each year preceding the season, to ensure that the coaches for the upcoming season are involved in summer league games, but this is sometimes not possible and coaches are chosen for Division II teams sometimes after tryouts are complete.


VYI coaches are expected to not only know basketball, but also to be excellent teachers, good sportspersons and excellent role models. Coaches are expected to be good organizers so that every practice is packed with conditioning and skill building drills and that there is never a moment when players are standing around doing nothing, as gym time is too precious a commodity not to be fully utilized. Minimal amounts of time should be spent going over statistics at practices as we prefer skill building drills and conditioning. We do not support using scrimmages without coaching correction as a means of teaching the game,  as valuable lessons and skills must be taught to the players during each practice through interaction with coaches during drills, conditioning and skill competitions. Scrimmages play an important role in preparing for games, but not to the exclusion of skills and practice of fundamentals that are necessary to the development of good basketball players.

Coaches have an administrative role in VYI and are required to be aware of league rules, to notify players who are part of the Zip code or age exemption group of their options, to create rosters, to motivate parents to get players to locations on time, to conduct practices effectively, to manage equipment and turn it in on time, and a number of other duties. 

Coaches are REQUIRED to recruit assistants whenever possible. It is simply not efficient to try to control ten players activities and to effectively teach basketball without assistance. In addition, the assistant provides a second viewpoint in coaching and interpersonal activities.

Coaches are encouraged to recruit parents to keep statistics for all players during games. These stats should include shot patterns of each team, turnovers, free throws made and missed, and any additional activities the coach is interested in. The parent responsible for keeping stats should provide them in a usable format to the coach prior to the halftime meeting with the players. The coach might also recruit a parent to record games on video for future review, if time permits. Statistics should be used during games to spot trends, outside of practice via email to set goals, educate and motivate players, but stats should not be gone over in practice as practice/gym time is too valuable.

Coaches are discouraged from recruiting players from other programs or to encourage outside families to come to VYI to play for specific coaches. FCYBL, the parent league within Fairfax County has a league rule that allows two "out of zip" players to be on a team, and while this is not encouraged, it is allowed.

Coaches have a responsibility to give all the players on their team a reasonable amount of playing time, assuming that a player is regularly attending practice. That is defined by VYI as at least 20% of each half. So in a 16 minute half every player should be in the game at least 3.5 minutes so that in a regular season game every player on a team will get at least 7 minutes per game. Some coaches provide more playing time than others, but beyond the rule above, it is a coach decision. There is NO playing time requirement in the playoffs and coaches are encouraged to play who they think best will allow them to win.

If a player does not attend practice regularly, does not personally notify the coach in advance when a practice will be missed, is disruptive during practice, or has parents who are disruptive to team discipline and order, they may be punished, with advance notice to the Coach Committee, by a reduction in playing time, suspensions from the team or dismissal from the team.

Parents are required to discuss issues they may have with you in a discreet and mature manner. If a parent remains dissatisfied, the parent is directed, under the Parent Agreement  to address his concerns to the VYI County Commissioner. Use good judgement when dealing with a dissatisfied parent. Remember that your volunteer efforts are for the kids. If you have a problem that you deem sufficiently unmanageable you are encouraged to bring it the attention of the VYI County Commisisoner.  

VYI wants to give parents a voice about a specific coach either during or after the season in the form of an on-line evaluation form. The form asks the opinion of parents about their experience with a specific coach. VYI has solicited the information and intends to take the comments seriously.

So too, VYI has given coaches a voice about parents who present a problem, either during or after the season. See Incident Report. We encourage you to complete the required information if you see fit. 

Parents have been advised that coaches are not drivers, or child sitters, so parents must be conscientious to deliver their children on time and to pick them up from practice and games on time. It is strictly prohibited for a coach to take an unaccompanied VYI child in his/her car. Coaches should not be alone with players at any time and must be sure that parents or others are present.

Coaches are expected to be teachers, not friends, to their players. Players should respect their coaches, but they by no means are expected to like all of their coaches. Coaches are authority figures and personality conflicts and other differences of opinion that every person will encounter in their life will occur in sports, and players need to learn to deal with that. If VYI teaches its players this life lesson, then it is performing part of its stated goals for developing players and solid citizens.


Click below to be taken to this important information.



Click below to be taken to this information about County team selection.


If a player selected for one of the FCYBL county teams at tryouts should leave the team after selections have been completed in mid-October, but prior to the submission of County rosters and the house league draft in the first week of November, the following process will be used to fill the position:

(1) If the Division I team was affected, the coach will select a player off the Division II team.  The Division II coach will then notify either the FCYBL League Rep for VYI or the VYI Basketball Operating Officer of an opening.  There will be a notification of the appropriate house league commissioner and potential players that at least one supplemental tryout will be held to select an additional player.  The coach and one of the two league officials will handle the tryouts.  At the conclusion of the tryout(s), a player may be selected, only if capable of competing at the county level. 
(2) If the Division II team was affected, then the above notification process will be completed and a supplemental tryout date will be selected.
If a player selected for one of the FCYBL county teams at tryouts should leave the team after selections have been completed, but after the house league draft in the first week of November, there will be no additions to the team.


It is imperative that coaches pick the players at tryouts based on performance during tryouts. While summer programs and other sports are usually a good indicator of talent, it is VYI's policy that players should start from scratch at tryouts and each player entering the gym should have an equal chance of making the team regardless of the relationship to the coach. This means, if a coach is a football coach as well as a basketball coach, or an AAU coach in addition to being a VYI basketball coach, that he/she may not, by VYI rules, choose players simply because they are football or AAU players, or because the coach knows them from other activities. They are expected to perform at tryouts, and if they do not, they do not get an automatic bid to join the team as that is clearly unfair to those others trying out. 


If a player is not available to try out due to injury, but the coach is familiar with the players skill level, the coach may select the player, but in fairness to the other players trying out, must select one extra player on the roster. The injured player, once recovered, should not get undue preference over other players on the team regarding playing time. Also see COUNTY TEAM SELECTION CRITERIA.


When a scheduling conflict arises parents have been advised that VYI expects families to choose VYI over the competing activity, with obvious exceptions such as scheduled religious and special family events. Regular season games of primary season sports always take precedence over practices, and in-season sports always take precedence over second-season sports such as Fall baseball. VYI Basketball allows two unexcused absences at practices but any player with more than two is subject to being cut or given reduced playing time at the discretion of the coach and the County Commissioner.

County basketball practices start before VYI football ends so some accomodation must take place between the two sports because Football is a primary season sport when basketball tryouts begin. Because VYI football is still playing games when basketball begins, football must take precedence over basketball during the football season. Under no circumstances should a VYI basketball coach encourage a player to skip football practice to attend a basketball practice. What should occur is a discussion between the football coach and the basketball coach prior to basketball practice beginning in mid-October. The football coach should tell the basketball coach when his practices are scheduled, or post a practice schedule on the WEB, and identify what team members are affected so that the County coaches involved may schedule basketball practices around football, as much as possible. If remaining conflicts exist, a negotiation between the coaches and the VYI County Commisisoner should occur so that, to the extent possible,  VYI determines what practices should be attended rather than leaving it in the hands of players or the parents.


In addition to basketball skills, our coaches are expected to have interpersonal skills so that they may effectively deal with players, parents, school personnnel, and officials during the year.

Coaches are expected to know basketball, but no personality requirements are stated in our guidelines. That means that players may have a low key, "reserved" coach who wants to be friendly with his players and may accept less than the best from players as long as they are "trying" one season, and a tough "outspoken" coach that raises his voice and demands perfection the next season. While this is not planned and no one coaching style is supported over another, VYI supports each player having a variety of coaching styles introduced to them during their VYI career. This prepares them for any eventuality in high school so that they can easily adapt in the future.

VYI coaches are expected not to have social contact with the families of their players or their players outside of basketball activities. Friendships can lead to complaints of favoritism, or worse, and this is not tolerated in VYI. A coach, because of today's standards should never touch any player inappropriately, to include hugging. Congratulations should be rendered through a "high five" or other appropriate congratulatory method.

Any team activity for community service supported by the coach for his team must be attended by one or more parents in additon to the Team Mom or Dad. If parents cannot attend, or will not attend, the activity must be cancelled.

VYI is not a religious organization and we do not expect religion to be a part of the coaches program or teaching agenda. Religion is best left to parents and churches and should not be part of a secular sports club such as VYI.

Coaches may certainly get upset at players for not performing as they have been taught in practice, but this anger should never manifest itself so that players are overly embarrassed or shamed during games or in public. Players may certainly be corrected and admonished during practices so that they understand what they need to do but they should never be publicly vilified.

Coaches must be respectful of the players, referees, parents, school custodians, other coaches and children in the stands and on their teams and opposing teams. Poor sportsmanship or similar inappropriate behavior are not tolerated and may result in suspensions or dismissal of coaches.


Every coach has a different style. Some choose to coach during the game and some choose to coach mostly during practice and let the players play during games. Some coaches actively correct their players while they are on the floor and while they are in the huddle, and some focus on team strategy.

VYI supports an active coaching style where players are corrected on the floor, on the bench and at practice. It is particularly important to have an assistant coach on the bench during games. When a player leaves a game he should be told by the assistant what he did right and wrong during the time he is in a game, while the head coach concentrates on game action and strategy. Every step a player takes is a learning experience and good coaching will help that player all along the way. VYI does not support a coach who will see a player performing a skill incorrectly and not correct them, or a coach who overlooks a mistake. For example, VYI expects coaches to encourage players, whether male or female, to learn the proper layup technique by shooting the shot underhanded, whenever possible, using the momentum of the drive for ball impetus, placing the ball high on the backboard rather than pushing it at the backboard. VYI also wants coaches to teach the correct jump stop as well as proper layup steps on both sides and not to allow players to perform any fundamental skills incorrectly. Of course, VYI recognizes that in the heat of a game, perfect skills may not always be performed, but it is a goal of our program to teach them properly every practice. VYI wishes to develop skill levels as close to perfect as can be obtained at the various age levels. 

VYI does not support singling out kids on the floor and berating them in front of the crowd. VYI also does not support "calling out" or challenging an entire team in a loud voice that may be heard by parents and other spectators. That is poor coaching, reflects a lack of understanding of motivational skills and should not be tolerated. However, VYI does support some active yelling from the bench to position players, warn them about possible opposition activities, positively "fire up" and motivate the team and a variety of other things that might arise in a game. Just because a coach raises his voice does not mean he is berating players and a lot of constructive things are taught by a coach from the bench during a game.