Motivating today’s players is a unique balancing act for the school team basketball coach. On one hand, discipline, toughness and hard work must be enforced as core principles, yet quitting the program is a very real consequence for failing to motivate players enough. In continuation of last week’s blog post, I gained some valuable insights from the “NBA Coaches Playbook”, and so today I’m presenting to you 5 ideas that you can to promote your players to buy in to your system:
1. Knowledge leads to respect – so you should always be learning
Ever noticed that the best basketball coaches are great story tellers? That’s because they have an encyclopedic memory of basketball moments that they’ve gathered from years of watching and studying the game. As a coach, you should be the player’s first resource when they’ve got a question, but you’ll only get them asking if they’re convinced you know the game inside and out. Never stop learning.
2. Know your system – set clear expectations for your players
As an EXPERT of the system that you run, you should understand the role of each of your players. Use this knowledge to clearly convey what each individual can do to improve within your system. Nothing frustrates young players more than not getting playing time AND not knowing why. Make sure these expectations are conveyed from day 1 of the season.
3. Believe in your players – provide hands on praise
There’s no point in giving long motivational speeches if your players don’t believe you care when they’re on the court. Try to catch your players doing something right and don’t be afraid to stop practice to point it out. If your players know that you’re watching and care about their performance, they’ll give their best effort in practice.
4. It’s not just what you know – bring your enthusiasm too
Remember that as a coach, your young players will look to you when they’re on the court. Whatever you bring to it- energy, enthusiasm, work ethic, is infectious. But low energy and a negative attitude can also catch on just as easily. Let them see your passion and they will follow you.
5. Show your players that you have their best interest in mind – use data to tell them the truth
At Coachbase we have a saying: “Don’t argue. Just prove it with data”. I believe this statement also holds true for basketball. Embrace the analytics movement of basketball and let it help soften the truth. Don’t like the way a player is taking contested long jumpers? Tell them, and use video and statistics to back up what you’re saying. Use any form of communication necessary- but emphasize that you have their best interests in mind.
These are 5 ideas that we’ve got to help you get your players to buy-in to your system. If you’ve got any more suggestions that you’ll think other coaches would appreciate, we’d love to hear from you!
Latest posts by Coach Keith (see all)
- 5 Ideas To Get Your Players To Buy-In to Your System TODAY - December 7, 2015
- Coaching 1st grade to 8th grade with Bob Bigelow - November 30, 2015
- Motivating Your Players During Time-Outs by NBA Coach Scott Skiles - November 25, 2015