A Model for Building Team Unity

By Joe Haefner

A Model for Building Team Unity

The following article provides a few theories, perspectives and presents a model for basketball coaches at all levels for building team cohesiveness. It suggests a…

Bill Self Tears Into Best Players To Create Team Unity

By Joe Haefner

As coaches, we are all faced with situations where we might have a very skilled player that is an underclassmen or just a player that you tend to favor. And if you don’t handle the situation properly, resentment can arise from other players on the team. This can kill team camaraderie.

In an article from ESPN, Bill Self explains how he has handled elite underclassmen point guards. This could be applied to any elite underclassmen and your best player.

“I’d say flat-out, ‘I’m going to ride your butt today because I want them to see how you react,’” Self said. “And I’d tell him, ‘If you don’t do a good job, I’m going to run the whole frigging team. And if you let them know we had this conversation, I’ll run you twice.’”

Creating Team Unity With Coach K

By Joe Haefner

Have you ever watched a Duke game and noticed what happens if there is a Duke player on the ground after a dead ball?

Every single Duke player on the floor runs to the player on the ground and helps him up.  I’m certain that Coach K engrains this into his players from day 1 and it’s important that you do too.

How does this help your team?

1. It builds the team unity. 

2. Intimidates the other team, especially if they do not represent the same team unity.  Not many people like to feel like it is 5 versus 1 or 5 versus 2.  If they do, they’ll never accomplish much in a team sport like basketball.

Put yourself in the player’s shoes.  If you get knocked down, what feels better?  To have 4 teammates sprinting over to help you up or seeing your teammates just looking at you and you have to get yourself up.   I would think knowing that your teammates have your back no matter what would be the better feeling.  This feeling naturally boosts confidence as well.

When your team helps each other out like this, it natrually builds that togetherness that you want.  This unity leads to the extra pass being made, teammates setting better screens for each other, and players playing harder for each other.   

 It’s the little things that separate the great teams from everyone else.


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