Webster defined character as the combination of qualities that distinguishes an individual, person, group, or thing; moral strength; reputation; disposition; a person of marked individuality; an eccentric; and a person. In other words, your character distinguishes who you are as a person. It mainly reflects your personality.

In the sport of basketball, you can hear coaches would say that it is important to build a character in players. In line to the actual definition above, how would you relate building a character in your players? People can have diverse analysis on this one. But the way I look at it, it does not stand with character alone.

There is a positive character, and there is also a negative character. What is being implied is developing a positive character within the players. I used the term within because I want to stress out that character is deep inside the person. It should not sound, or appear, superficial. It is deeply analyzed within the individual. Now, going back to the concept of building a positive character, I believe that it is the positive quality of character that coaches would want his players to develop. And so, after knowing what this character is all about, how should you develop the character within your players?

There are lots of reasons why coaches would love to develop character within his players. Perhaps, he would like his players to think positively, and consider a great chance of possibilities in everything. A positive character does not look at the negativity of things; instead, it looks at the probabilities of things.

Here are some ways on how to develop character in your player:

Get your players trust
This refers to developing a trusting relationship between you and your players. Once they trust you, they will open up their minds and hearts to whatever you tell them. Gaining their trust means getting your players’ confidence in you. This is a great challenge to most coaches. In this one, you do not see your players as to how well they play the game, but you see them as a total individual, both in and out of the court. You go down to a deeper level of relationship to be able to know who you are working with as a person. When getting their trust, you need to also trust them. In this way, they will feel that you value them as an individual, and eventually, they will open up themselves to trust you even more.

What are the ways wherein you can show them your trust? Delegate a responsibility. Place a heavy task over their shoulders. Your players may, probably, ask why this certain task is given to them. Some may say, “This is impossible”, or, “I cannot do this. This is a huge responsibility for me to handle.” When they begin to ask such questions, put your confidence in them by telling them that you believe that they can get the job done. Encourage them to do well in practice and in actual games. Teach them what they need to know in order for them to handle their responsibilities. This is one way of trusting each other with confidence. So, you slowly get into the process of developing character in your players.

Build their self-confidence
Self-confidence is character itself. It refers to how you feel about yourself. A good self-confidence shows how, positively, good you feel and see yourself in front of the mirror. Players who display great confidence are able to subdue and overcome their fear of playing against anybody, even against the most recognized teams.Coaches must instill a positive attitude among his players to develop their confidence. He should be consistent and persistent in encouraging his players to do excellent basketball.

Recognize and appreciate their contributions to the team. Let your players know that you are able to see what they are capable of. This will increase the way they feel about their game. And also, this will enable them to be aware that they are playing the right basketball game. The players will have the tendency to keep on doing the things that made you recognize them. Perhaps, it may be executing well in ball rotation, running without the ball, offense, or defense.

Establish a fighting spirit
This is almost the same as the above. But I have more information that will differ this one from the other. If you try to look at the definition of team spirit, you can see that it refers to the willingness, or choice, of the team to win. So, relating it to fighting spirit, it gives the idea of a very strong willingness to win. Players fight and give everything they’ve got in order to win a basket.

A coach should be able to establish a fighting spirit within his players. The fighting spirit of the players is like a generator that provides them the power, or energy, to finish the game up to the end.Remember, you are not a loser until you think you are. This should be, strongly, enforced to the players to develop the character of fighting spirit among them.

Help to accept defeat
You do not expect to win at all times. Sometimes, you lose some matches. The challenge there is accepting the sting of defeat. All of the members of the team should experience winning and losing together. As head of the team, the coach is probably the most mature individual to deal with defeat calmly.

It may also be painful for him, but I think that he is the right individual who should help his players accept defeat. He should emphasize that losing is a part of the game. It can either be a result of not playing good enough, or maybe, the opponents are just too overwhelming for them to handle. Either of these two, the coach can let his players understand that defeat is the realization of how they have been performing their plays, and the realization that they need to work more and progress into a more polished team .Perfection leaves no room for improvement.

Defeat strengthens them and helps them to grow constantly to become great players, and great individuals as well. It is in defeat that players learn how strong they are as a person. Lastly, the best thing about defeat is standing up again, and going back to practice games. Defeat is a very powerful form of motivation, which can either bring players up or down. Coaches are there to utilize defeat as a positive motivation to guide them to improvement.

Picture credit: cogdogblogCreative Commons Attribution

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