Coachable basketball players are respectful, maintain a positive attitude and demonstrate excellent behavioral traits to improve their basketball skills for the team’s greater benefit.
Are you such a coachable basketball player?
With all of the countless hours that you spend working out, practicing and playing basketball, it can be quite difficult to maintain the right attitude at all times that is needed to improve, grown and learn as a player. At times, it can be hard to hear about the errors and mistakes you have made out on the basketball court. This can especially be true if it happens to be a skill that you have worked on for a long time such as overhead passes or your shooting footwork. Either you are having a hard time executing the move how your coach wants it to be performed, or you thought you had improved but you hadn’t.
Whatever the case is, maintaining a positive attitude is at least half the battle to prevent you from allowing the pressure and stress to overwhelm you. Another important thing for you to remember is always to demonstrate your coachable traits. Your coaches will respect and trust you for it, and it will allow you to become the best possible basketball player.
Even if you are your team’s most skilled and talented player, if you don’t have a consistently coachable attitude, you won’t be an effective leader. It is also very likely that your teammates and coaches won’t enjoy playing and working with you as much as they could.
There is a lot of rewarding potential and great benefits to being a coachable player such as contributing to a more bonded and stronger team, less stress, accelerated learning, and better relationships with your teammates and coaches.
The following is a list of 5 traits that coachable basketball players all tend to have. Use this list to ensure that you are always demonstrating behavior that makes you a valuable asset to your team and coaches.
Talk less, Listen More
I’m sure you are aware of those players that always appear to have something to say, whether it involves them making a good play or responding to a reprimand. These players tend not to be good listeners and go around running at the mouth just to hear themselves talk. That isn’t a good example of what a coachable player is. It is, in fact, the complete opposite of the ideal player. When you talk less and listen more, you are demonstrating that you think what your coaches are saying is more important. You are much more likely to retain whatever it is they are teaching you compared to if you are constantly interrupting them or talking while they are.
Taking personal responsibility isn’t always an easy thing to do, whether it happens to be out on the basketball court or in life. It can be especially challenging at practice following a poor game performance where perhaps you allowed the opposing player to score too many points, or you missed a majority of your free throws and your actions were a major contributing factor to your team losing the game. It can be hard to swallow those moments when you feel like you let your team down. However, as an athlete coachable players realize that this is part of their self-development process. You must be willing to take the bad times along with the good times. You need to be able to tough out your failures in addition to accepting the glory. When you take personal responsibility for your performance on a daily basis, it demonstrates to your coaches that you have the ability to be realistic when it comes to what your role is on your basketball game and where your skills are really at.
Focus on Your Performance Instead of Others
This is one of the most important traits in coachable players. They are always focusing on their own game and looking inwards instead of looking at their teammates or their coaches to justify their lagging performance. You may worry about playing with a post player who simply does not use the backboard and has a very low shooting percentage. Or your point guard who does not seem to play in the right manner and turns over the ball every other play. Matter of fact is that you need to focus on the areas that need improvement.
The most effective players in this game are those who consistently focus on their own responsibilities and performance and motivate others on the team so much that the whole team starts to play better when they are on the floor. This trait does not mean that the player becomes completely self-centered as an individual or being selfish with the ball, but it means that the individual does not start pointing fingers at others in the team when unexpected things happen.
Communication with the Coach is the Key
There will always be times when something that coach tells you during the practice does not make sense, or you may not have been able to completely get what the coach said. Coachable players understand the importance of proper communication. Coachable players understand that it is not just the responsibility of the coach to take care of any misunderstanding in communication between coach and player. As a player, you also need to make sure that the communication is clear.
You will gain the respect of your coach if you stay late or show up to practice early and drop by their office to communicate clearly. Coaches have a tough job, and it is not easy for them to effectively communicate with all the players on the team during a game or a session of open practice. Coachable players realize that it is also the responsibility to close the communication gap and approach their coach directly at the right time.
This trait helps in getting rid of any confusion and misunderstandings. It may also lead to getting your coach to spend some extra time with you. During this extra time, the coach may explain their expectations of you or simply help you with a play that you are struggling to execute properly. Keep in mind that coaches are always looking to invest in coachable and dedicated players who are not afraid to make efforts to spend some one-on-one time with them.
Understand The Difference between Instruction and Criticism
This trait is not easy to develop and ranks amongst the most difficult traits of a coachable basketball players. Some players think that they are unnecessarily criticized even after putting in all the hard work when the teammates or coach tells them the same thing for the fifth time. However, coachable players understand the difference between criticism and instructions.
You are going to be a happy player if you do not take facial expressions, body language and tone of voice literally and keep a positive perspective. There will be times when your teammates and coaches may say some harsh things that might sound critical but if you keep in mind that everybody is human, and you keep yourself focused on instructions instead of criticism, you will rise high as a coachable basketball player.
Another important thing is to realize that coaches also have their personal lives outside of the team which means that they may not be quite diplomatic on all days. Coachable players understand this and will cut them some slack. They realize that it’s all about focusing on instructions to become the best basketball player.
While some players are naturally gifted at being a coachable basketball player, others may struggle in certain areas. Nobody is perfect, and every player should take some time to re-evaluate their coachable traits and work on some particular traits in the upcoming season. You will not only develop good skills by focusing on becoming a coachable player, but you will also be surprised at the respect you get from your teammates and your coach by respecting them and setting a good example for your teammates.
Great article! Something many youth coaches overlook especially in the stand out players. Often times you see the behavior that was acceptable at a lower level start to be the downfall of a potentially great athlete as they rise through the ranks. The game of basketball is mostly mental at the end of the day. At some point everyone can pass, dribble and shoot but who has the mental toughness to win and be coachable? Those are the players who make it.
I really enjoyed this piece!