Talent and cooperation are essential for success, but occasionally your players require a little more encouragement. With all that in mind, here is this week’s USA Basketball Coaches Network question:
What is your greatest motivational technique, whether it’s a drill, a lecture, or another sort of incentive?
When talent doesn’t work really hard, the saying goes team always will beat Talent! I am a firm believer in team chemistry and possibilities for team bonding.
Almost every year, our squad is assigned a book (picked by the head coach, myself) to read and discuss as a group. We’ll talk about these motivating books and try to learn as much as we can from them. Great dialogues and teachable moments result from these topics.
Our crew is treated as if it were a family. It’s what we call our “Basketball Family!” Families make sacrifices for one another and respond to one another’s needs. We aim to instill in our team the idea that the team is greater than them, yet that everyone plays an essential part.
As the season begins, the players’ drive is the anticipation of a new season. I’ve noticed that the players are really eager to demonstrate to the coaching team what they’re capable of. As each player’s position is defined, and some players realize that their game time may not be what they expected, excitement and drive begin to wane.
We’ve used a variety of motivating approaches, including:
- During practice, each player will get at least four encouraging remarks from the coaching staff. I frequently designate certain players to assistant coaches for good feedback.
- Before each practice, we have a group meeting where we discuss the mind candies — a topic for the day – and how it applies to our team.
- Based on practice effort, one non-starter has been promoted to captain.
- We send a scouting report on a competitor to 2 players, one of whom is a non-starter.
- Our team has a committee comprised of several players from each class that gathers weekly for brunch to address team matters.
- Arrange for cultural and bonding activities, such as going to a college game jointly, having a bowling or pizza party, or volunteering at a community project.
- For every game, give away a super reward.
- Give non-scoring metrics like fouls, rebounds, assists, and blocked game honors.
Effective coaching requires a thorough understanding of your team’s rhythm. Please remember that your team’s rhythm will change over the year. After a great win, your squad could be ecstatic, while they might be shaken after a terrible defeat. As a result, your motivating strategies should also differ. During the peaks, push your staff with challenging work, but during the troughs, provide them with easily achievable goals.
Our objectives have “carrots” or “consequences” attached to them. Each drill has a time restriction and an accuracy criterion. When you meet the benchmark, you get a “carrot” (such as an early water break) or a “consequence” (e.g. one-minute plank). Always give honest comments, such as, “Your behaviors do not align with your objectives.” State champions don’t just put on a show. Whether you need to alter your objectives or you need to change your behavior.”