Playing and Winning as a Team: When team plays together, they win together. In a successful team, it is vital for each individual player to put the team before themselves. In order for each player to do this, you must first accept what your role is on the team. As players, we all have our own strengths and weaknesses: some of us are quick, fast, strong, instinctive, shooters, ball handlers, post players, leaders, defensive players, motivators…The list goes on! Whatever your individual strengths may be, everyone makes an impact and contributes– it’s a matter of each player mastering his or her role!
Self-Evaluate: Accepting your role means you must first self-evaluate. Figure out what your strengths are and use them to your advantage! If your strength is posting up someone and making a hard move to the basket, don’t call for the ball and try to play point guard! The more honest you are to yourself, the better player you are going to be in the long run. If you are a younger player on the team, your role will probably change significantly once you become a veteran. It is important to understand where you stand realistically.
Listen to your coach: Do the job your coach has assigned you! A coach has an understanding of individual strengths/weaknesses and how they can best be used to benefit the team. Your role on the team could be a range of different things- the quicker you understand what it is and master it, the better your team is going to be. Basketball is a team sport and a win or loss is never the result of just one individual. A win is the result of a team practicing hard and executing in a game. That means that any person that contributed in those practices, contributed to that win- even if they didn’t play in the game! If you are a player who doesn’t play much in a game, and is assigned to guard the team’s best player at practice, you play a huge role on the team! Going hard and challenging your teammates at practice will make them better.
Leave it on the Court: Playing on a team is a privilege; you should play every minute like it’s your last minute on the court! Don’t let up, and take advantage of opportunities! If you are someone who doesn’t see a lot of minutes, take advantage of every opportunity that you get to play in a game and at practice. Prove to your coach that you are always working hard and never give up!
Support your Team and Teammates: When you play on a team and you don’t accept your role, you aren’t putting the team first. As athletes, we all want to see a lot of minutes every game, but that’s not always going to happen. Don’t become a bad teammate! When you become a bad teammate, you put yourself before the team and everyone is affected. If the only reason you are playing is because of your individual minutes and stats, you are playing for the wrong reasons. When you are sitting on the bench, never sit there and sulk- Be Positive! Cheer your team on, watch the game, and be observant!
BEST OF LUCK THIS SEASON!