Every aspect of life is made better by being a motivated individual, and without it, not even sports would flourish. From time to time, all basketball coaches suffer when it comes to motivating the players on their team, and though you’re always tempted, you can’t substitute your enthusiasm for that of your players. But, you can increase spirit and motivation on your team, so here are a few ideas to get you started:

Understanding Is Key
Most players get motivated by truly having a real understanding of what you can accomplish as a team or why a certain something needs to be done. Educate all members of your team, and help them see the bigger picture. Taking this extra step can allow you all to work better and feel motivated on the whole. The tough part is that all players work to comprehend on their own terms, and that’s why (as a coach), you get to know them on a personal level.

Enforce Training By Using Positivity
There’s always going to be necessary evils when it comes to playing basketball, and running seems to be one of them. Though it must be done, make sure to insert it into the middle of your program. You don’t want to outright bore your players or overwhelm them before they get to their warm-up exercises. Forcing your players to start or end with something that they don’t enjoy doing will make morale suffer and dampen overall enthusiasm towards the sport. Just keep this in mind: the timetable of how you split up your training exercises can make or break your team!

Establish Your Authority And Set Clear Goals For Your Team
As a coach, everything you do for your team is in their best interests, but players may not always see things this way. Your players will follow you, but you will need to establish yourself as an authority figure that they can trust. The important thing is to find the right balance between friend and authority figure. You don’t want to lead by instilling fear, but you don’t want to get too friendly either. The overall motivation of your team depends on you being the strong central figure they can lean on and trust to make wise choices.

Motivation is always based on setting and accomplishing goals. Make the efforts of your basketball team visible by setting clear goals. However, it’s wise to be careful when setting goals, as setting ones too easily accomplish can diminish their importance. On the other hand, planning to set hard goals will hinder your players’ self-esteem, so finding middle ground is a good way to go. Realistic milestones can make a world of difference and can serve as a good form of measuring the success of your team.

Motivation Through Testing
You never want your players to crack under pressure, but you should keep them on their toes by occasionally testing them. Throwing in tests from time-to-time will serve as a fantastic motivator, but make it clear to your players that you will test them at some point. Do this on random occasions as it can ensure the element of surprise forces your players to try harder. This method works for pop quizzes in school, and there’s no reason that you shouldn’t use the same idea for your sports team.

Spread The Spirit Of Teamwork
Basketball is a team driven sport, so without all team members on deck, your team will fail. It’s important to hone team spirit and explain to your players that they need to learn to rely on one another and work together. The failure of just one player can affect the whole team, and one person’s loss makes the whole team lose. Team spirit can be honed through memorable speeches, but you can also choose to incorporate trust exercises such as obstacle courses and a blindfold maze.

As a coach, the hardest thing you’ll ever have to do is motivate your team. However, once you figure out how to go about doing it will be immensely rewarding. You can approach motivation in dozens of ways, but remember the trust building takes time. Patience is the most important virtue you will need, and with time, you will find motivation!