Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Have you ever wondered what you have to do to get your players to "want" to play hard for you as a coach?  Here are four easy techniques to use that can help develop a connection with your players that could lead to a stronger desire to play hard.
  1. Use a player's name out loud when they are getting praise.  Use their name in a smaller voice when you are pointing out a mistake.  People naturally give you their attention when they hear their name.  If players hear their name loudly when it is connected to positives it can inspire them to continue to do the right things.  You are at risk of having them go in a shell if you constantly have them them hear their own name with negatives connected to it.  There is a time and place for harsh tones, but pick and choose those times instead of doing it often, and it will have more of an impact.    names + a positive = desire to succeed.
  2. Expectations should be set for players and the entire team.  Letting your players and team know what is expected for each drill helps them understand what is to be done.  Be clear in the expectations you give and you will see your players play quicker and stronger because they know exactly what is to be done.  Spending an extra minute before a drill explaining the expectations might save you more time in correcting during the drill.
  3. Learn from mistakes and losses.  Nobody likes mistakes.  Nobody likes to lose.  Coaches have to realize that there are teaching moments after mistakes have been made or after you have experienced a loss.  Take time to teach so the possibility of it happening again is less than before.  This may require the coach to take a moment, step back, take a breath, and think about why it happened.  Analyze it quickly and then speak.  A loss is only a bad thing if you don't learn from it.  Your players will see that you aren't reacting out of anger and will work hard for you as a result. 
  4. Let your players know you appreciate them.  Take a quick moment to let your team, a player, or a group of players know you appreciate something about them.  Point out something to them that might be something different than their basketball abilities.  Let them know you notice they are a good teammate.  Let them know you saw them try to pick up a teammate that may be having a bad day.  You have to see your players as people too, not just basketball players.

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