The title of this post might sound a little cliche. You might be thinking, ‘there’s no way that just one word can change your basketball program.’
Change also doesn’t have to be a bad thing. You might have a really good team on your hands. But what if you could change your program for the better? To what heights could your team actually reach? Coaching basketball is a lot more fun when your program is on a positive trajectory.
Enough with the rhetorical questions, you’re probably wondering what one, magical word can change your program. Drumroll, please….
That word is ‘willingness.’ If your coaches and your players can buy into this, it can literally be program-changing.
Willingness means: done, given, or accepted voluntarily or ungrudgingly.
So how exactly can this change the trajectory of your team? Let’s dive into that.
The Power of Willingness
Why is willingness so powerful? Because it means somebody does something without expecting personal gain, notoriety, or anything in return for their action or sacrifice. To illustrate willingness in basketball terms, let’s look at what it can mean for your players on your team:
- Willingness to put the team above yourself
- Willingness to take a charge
- Willingness to take a teammate home from practice
- Willingness to make the extra pass
- Willingness to guard the other team’s best player
- Willingness to accept your role as a distributor
- Willingness to stay positive on the bench
- Willingness to tell your parents that you don’t deserve to start
- Willingness to stay after practice and work on your game
- Willingness to pull a teammate aside and ask what’s bothering them
- Willingness to challenge a dunk at the rim, even if it could put you on a poster
- Willingness to make good choices off the floor
- Willingness to go to study tables to keep your grades up
- Willingness to give maximum effort in practices and drills
- Willingness to take feedback from your coaches
- Willingness to box out every time a shot goes up
- Willingness to work on fundamentals, even if they are ‘boring’
- Willingness to sprint back on defense
- Willingness not to take opponents lightly
For coaches, willingness might mean:
- Willingness to give practice planning ample time
- Willingness to open up the gym for players that want extra work
- Willingness to give your team your 100% commitment
- Willingness to listen to player feedback
- Willingness to always be learning
- Willingness to make adjustments
- Willingness to show your players you care about them as people first
- Willingness to hold everyone in your program accountable
- Willingness to scout opponents diligently
- Willingness to invest in your youth program
- Willingness to serve your community
- Willingness to hold your staff to high character standards
- Willingness to check on your players’ grades
- Willingness to push your players in the weight room
- Willingness to sit down with players and discuss their strengths/weaknesses
We could go on and on with what the power of the word willingness’ can do for your program. If you can get players to buy into doing things for the betterment of the team over their personal agendas, it can literally be program-changing!
Comment below and let us know more ways you want your team to apply this term.