Glue players are needed. They are vital to a team's success. They contribute things to your team that don't always show up in a box score; things that can't always be measured with a stat.
SOME CHARACTERISTICS OF A GLUE PLAYER
- Sprints the court in transition
- They might night receive a pass in transition, but the fact they sprint could draw a defender to them and open up a teammate for a score
- Talks on the court
- Call out screens on defense
- Makes sure the team is in the correct offense or defense
- Makes sure the team is matched up on defense
- Motivates their teammates
- Dives for loose balls
- This can be contagious
- Forces the person they are defending to give extra effort just to get open
- This tests the will of the person they are guarding.
- Makes the extra pass on offense
- Pass up a good shot for a great shot
- Forces the defense to work extra hard
- Follows the game plan.
- They understand the game plan.
- They execute the game plan.
- Takes care of the ball on offense
- They aren't careless with the ball. They are poised with the ball in their hands.
- Genuinely cares for their team
- Speaks positively of their team, teammates, and coaches
- Represents their team to the best of their ability on and off the court
- Serves others
SUCCESSFUL TEAMS NEED GLUE PLAYERS
Any player can be a glue player. I think some coaches see glue players as players on their roster who maybe aren't the most talented. This can be the case, however your most skilled players can be glue players as well. If your most talented players are glue players then chances are your team has a great chance to reach its full potential.
The average fan sitting in the stands watching a game might wonder why certain players are getting so many minutes if they aren't scoring, rebounding, or filling other stat columns. Most likely those are glue type players they are wondering about. In a team sport like basketball we have to remember that we don't always play our five best, we play our best five. Your best five are the five players that play best together. Many times a glue player or two are part of that best five.
CELEBRATE YOUR GLUE PLAYERS
I encourage coaches to celebrate their glue players. In a film session point out an example of a player running the court in transition, setting a great screen, or making the extra pass. Stop play on the practice court to point out an action of a player that makes them a glue type player. While in a huddle during a timeout you can let your team know how important a dive on the floor for a loose ball was for your team because it gave you an extra possession. While talking to the media you can highlight players that do these glue player type things that are keys to your team's success. Your glue players need to be celebrated so let them know how important they are to the team.
REMEMBER: Not all of the players on your roster are going to have the same skill, BUT they can all be glue players.
SHARE YOUR IDEAS
I'd enjoy hearing from other coaches on how they celebrate glue type players. If you have suggestions, please share with me. You can reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org