Pure Joy Basketball Blog
4 Keys to Leading a Basketball Team
By Roman Martinez
Successful Leaders figure out a way to motivate and inspire others on a day to day basis to work diligently towards a common goal.
However, motivating others at times can be very challenging.
First of all, no-one likes practice.
Secondly, most basketball athletes have egos and would rather look cool than sacrificing their game and do what's best for the team. You also have to understand individuals on your team will have different cultural backgrounds. You will have to find a way to relate. Lastly, most people in general hate to be told what to do even from a respectable coach. They think they have all the answers.
The experience I gained from being a leader is priceless. I understand how to be a great teammate and inspire a group of people to work towards a common goal. Here is my insight on key points to focus on when leading a team to greatness.
1. Compete Everyday
A leader is the most competitive person on the floor. There was always a purpose to challenge a specific teammate or the team as a whole in order to fuel everyone to work hard. A highly competitive and driven individual brings toughness, fun and hunger to a group. If you don't have the passion to compete at a high level all the time, your teammates will not respect you when you demand them to be tough or work hard.
Illustrate your passion for the team by competing in practice and games. Challenge a teammate to a shooting contest and play to win. Drills in practice were always must-wins when I was playing, every single one of them. So fuel your team and bring toughness by competing to win through the entire year.
In the basketball world you have to speak up in practice. Be vocal, lift the practice to a new level by using high energy and your words. Leaders must communicate constantly on both ends of the floor in order to gain great team chemistry.
Don't get me wrong, don't just speak because you like the sound of your voice. Make the game easy for you and your teammates. When playing, I love talking on defense to make sure my teammates would know where I was on the floor, and if they needed me I was there to help.
Ask questions to the coach when confused by a scouting report. Let teammates on the floor know the shot clock count. Lead by consistently bringing encouraging words when a teammate is in a shooting slump.
You can communicate on the bench, letting a teammate know he has a mismatch or to be aware of a dangerous shooter. Use your voice to drive your team to work together.
3. Prepare for practice
Preparation is the key to leading a team. Prepare to dominate each day of training and practices. Preparation includes getting a good night sleep, eating healthy, recovery workouts, individual on court workouts, visualization and studying plays and sets. Stay prepared everyday in order to be a solid leader.
I always wanted to make sure I was one of the first ones to get on the practice floor and the last one to leave. I wanted to wake up early and get my mind and body ready to compete at a high level. Like most leaders it's essential to have a shooting routine before and after practice. Allow your great preparation to give you the confidence you need to perform and drive your team on a daily basis.
4. Make each day count
Enjoy each day as if you can never play basketball again. I wanted my teammates to understand every practice and day mattered by how I approached practice. I made it a priority to enjoy every moment playing the game I loved.
There are some teammates that dislike positive people, and dislike the glass half full perspective. Let those negative teammates fuel you to dominate practices with a positive mindset.
Live in the moment and make sure to focus on the details and doing things the right way. Make it a priority to be the first one in the gym and the last one out. Earn the right be a leader by being a gym rat. Plan out a pre practice and post practice shooting routine in order to be prepared for practice and stay in rhythm. Make small goals and focus on enjoying the journey.
Thanks for reading, now let's get better today