The 3 E's For Player Accountability -- Share Them With Your Team and Their Parents

By David Torbert

The smartest coaching mind can craft a game plan that completely trumps an opponent. However, without the proper focus and enthusiasm from all players, that planning goes to waste.

As coaches, we must make player development a main focus in preparing for games. Players must commit to the program both physically and mentally, every play, every drill, every minute of the season.

Below are guidelines for player conduct to share with your team at the start of each season. This information would also be of value during a parents' meeting to ensure parents understand expectations and there are no opportunities for misunderstandings.

The aim of this Player Code of Conduct is to share your coaching philosophy with players and parents, and set early expectations for daily effort. As a coach, you want to instill values in your young athletes, and the idea of accountability is critical in developing a solid team concept.


Come ready and excited to play basketball. Be prepared (all required gear, any paperwork, needed equipment, etc. ). Be excited to improve as we start each drill. Come ready to play on game days. Keep focused on the drill or game situation. Always look forward to the next play and look for ways to improve. If you can play multiple positions, offer to adjust our lineup to accommodate someone else coming into your typical position to give us a better chance to win. Represent yourselves, your parents and your teammates with pride.  


No more giving up on missed shots or loose balls.  Stick with it. Players aren't just giving up on the ball. They're giving up on their teammates. Stand behind the rest of the team and do your part to help achieve success. If you get burned by an opposing player, bounce back quickly to recover and make the best of the situation. Laziness breeds failure. If we're slow to react, teams will take advantage. Laziness can lead to momentum swings by our opponent. Game or practice, we should expect a total effort by everyone. Players tried out to be a part of the team, and not fully engaging in all drills and activities is unacceptable. Always want to improve. Players are also expected to jog to the next drill or to/from the bench when transitioning from a timeout or when checking into or out of the game. No exceptions.


We know the line between "just messing around" and being a cancer to the mindset of your teammates. We will not tolerate any negative comments regarding a player's performance at practice or in games, or personal attacks on your teammates. Again, we are a team. We support each other. If someone makes a mistake, pick him up. Make sure he knows he's got your support. Regardless of your own abilities, do not criticize others for things they need to work on. No player is perfect, and each player should want to improve each day, regardless of current skill level.

Related Resources

Positive Impact Coaching

Establishing Your Philosophy and Priorities

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