Team unity is a crucial element to the success and the balance of any team. If the team is fractured and not working as one, you will quickly find that the team will fail in all aspects. A team that works together in harmony and strives towards common goals and achievements will have a far higher rate of success. It is up to you, the coach, to oversee the team’s development, but a coach can only do so much work, it then comes down to the players and their overall efforts in deciding if the team will work as one, or not.

While some people think that just having one or two strong players can be enough, you are only as strong as your weakest link. At the same time you cannot always blame issues on an individual. Working to correct problems as a unit will go a long way, as opposed to working on a single person. Once you have your team working together as one, the rest of the pieces will end up falling into place with very little delay. While you won`t get to championship calibre overnight, the improvements will come fast when your team is working with each other.

There are quite a few steps you can take to promote healthy team bonding and development. It starts off the court by getting your players to take part in casual, fun activities together. This may seem a bit off the beaten path to some people, but if you simply form a bond outside of the game between your players, it will go a long way. This doesn`t mean that everyone has to be buddy buddy, or has to hang out every day. It simply means: they work together as a unit and not for themselves.

Coaches will always find a few difficult players in every group and it is your job as coach to break the walls down, so that your team can function. Some strong discipline may need to be used to get through, and if everything fails, you may just have to bench the player until they are willing to work with the team, or just give up and move on. This isn’t an easy decision and no coach likes to kick players off the team, or even bench them. When it comes down to actions that are disruptive and poisonous to the overall team, measures need to be taken immediately to resolve it.

There is no step by step formula to guarantee your team will be perfect. Much like trial and error elsewhere, it is a great method here because you have several different personalities in your players. While some methods will reach one type of player, they won`t reach others. A mixture of discipline in various forms, one-on-one time, group time, and even just casual time will go a long way to achieving your goal of having a cohesive team of basketball players, that look out for each other … on and off the court!

Picture credit: rkramer62Creative Commons Attribution