I begin this post today with a question that has been asked over and over again especially during this point in time during the season. What are you doing to prepare that is any different than others? I certainly know that my role as coach is more than just x's and o's. I have a unique opportunity to help shape a young person for the rest of their lives. I want them to remember that playing for me was more than just winning a basketball game as I am certain that is case with many of you coaches as well. So beyond getting a team in shape, lifting/running, court exercises, putting the ball in the basket, etc., how much of your time is spent on teaching them about their decisions, and moreover, how are you providing them with solutions.
How am I to foster winning from the Inside? I believe that it will start with their character. We all talk about this, but really what is it? There are 2 types, performance character, which dictates how you are as a player, tough, determined, focused. This relates to your performance only. There is another type and that is your moral character. This affects others, your teammates, coaches, administrators, fans, parents, alumni, donors, sponsors.
How do you get your players to buy in to what you are talking about? You first must buy in yourself.
Begin with this question. What is the goal of a team? How would you answer this question? Usually it's the first thing, Win. But it's really to maximize your teams ability. Because if you do this, it will lead to winning.
What are the top 3 things that can get in the way of maximizing your teams ability. Think of your roster, think of the top 3 things that can come in the way, injury is outside of your control so leave that off.
Usually it will look like this? Selfishness, impatient, no trust in one another. If you take the poll with your own coaching staff, and you reflect, you will notice that there will be human related hurdles that you will have to overcome. I doubt you will see much performance related things to overcome, usually.
So you must spend time on this to maximize your teams ability to perform. Here's how I do it.
I ask our players/coaches to provide me with 3 things that we believe stand in the way. I then take the top answers, provide a glossary of the performance and moral skills. We as a staff can make this as easy or as complicated but we chose to just take the checklist and pair the character skills with the struggles. Now you have a road map. For example, like selfishness that would be paired with unselfishness and the definition that we can provide without it being so long, just short and to the point, so in this case, it would be putting the team first. This is done with just about 3 things of course, you will discover that along the course of the season, conditioning, practice, wins/losses during the season, struggles will continue to arise, but you will need to help yourself and your coaching staff to know that you have a great responsibility and this is to help your players get through this.
I discuss all the time prior to taking the court daily, during practice and post practice. I want our team to always be aware of what I am emphasizing so that we can reach our maximum potential.
Character development needs a road map, discuss the goals of a team, what is going to get in the way, what does your team think, then take the list and pair the character skills and pair with the struggles listed. Build team awareness, discuss often.
I spend a lot of time in this area of development, I want my players to be aware. First impressions, to how they dress and act and how they will continue to progress using basketball as a tool to get their education.
So ask yourself what are the 3 things that are potentially getting in the way of your team maximizing it's ability? Talk about it with your team, show them examples of what it takes to not be selfish with images, video, stories. Provide them with a road map so that there is nothing in the way that prevents your team from maximizing their potential.