Like every human being, every basketball team is also unique. What makes it unique? Look at the game of basketball: champion teams are not necessarily the number one team in the league. At times, underdogs win championships. On the other hand, look at the National Basketball Association, or NBA. You will notice a see-saw battle between teams in a season. Top ranked teams beat the lower ranked teams, and lower ranked teams beat the top ranked teams. It is unpredictable. However, you can see that during playoffs, teams come up with higher levels of desire and energy to win. Every single game counts. The team that is totally equipped to win a championship crown usually emerges as victorious.

If you are a coach or a player, who always comes up short in winning basketball games, or even championships, you might begin to wonder and ask the question What is it that makes them win?, or What do I need to do to get the basketball championship crown. If you think about that, you start to ponder what it is that lacks, and you can then begin to analyze what is going on with your team. It is like a computer wherein you need to restart it to get rid of any faulty and unresponsive activity. Oftentimes, when computers are fixed, changes in its programming system are done before it gets to be restarted. I know it is much more complex, but simply spoken, it should be the same with fixing a faulty basketball system.

In doing so, you need to know how to do it to attain success. Do you believe that teams have secrets to winning games? Winning is not always out of luck. Players and coaches work hard every day to achieve this goal. With their great display of hard work, the secrets to success are being formulated.

Healthy working relationships among coaches and players are a vital part. A team comprises several members, but at least on professional level it has only one single objective: the goal of winning. To achieve that one goal, every member of the team must work together as one. A healthy working relationship among the members of the team can help the team establish a sense of pride, trust and belongingness. Every member should feel that they belong to the group. A member wants to work in an environment where he feels at home and accepted. In a way, players and coaches can also gain a better understanding of each member of the team. With this, they can find ways on how to deal with each other. This is very important for the entire team to function as one. You cannot expect a player to pass the ball to a teammate whom he does not feel good about. You cannot expect a player to listen to his coach whom he does not show respect at all. And you can cannot expect a coach to, heartly, teach a player whom he does not care about. Remember, basketball is a social game. You deal with people and you do not decide for yourself alone. You decide for the team.

In basketball, whether professional or non-professional, each member of the team, from coaches to the players, must exert the act of professionalism. For example, in practices or actual games, everyone should on time. The coaching staff, especially the head coach, should not tolerate any form of unprofessionalism. If the players are come in late, he should reprimand them. When members of his coaching staff are not doing their job, reprimand them too. And most importantly, as head of the team, he should serve as a role model of professionalism. There are times that players become too lazy to play the game. Instead of doing their thing, they often fool around. Coaches must emphasize discipline as a part for professionalism. Oftentimes, people need to be disciplined to do their job well.

The coaching staff, together with the players should construct a SMART planning. What is SMART planning?

(S)pecific, (M)easurable, (A)ttainable, (R)ealistic, (T)ime-bound

For example, the team has decided to come up with the following objective: Within the next 5 league games, the team will be able to win at least two or three times. Observe the objective. It is specific with their goal of winning games. It is measurable putting in a certain number of wins compared to losses. It is attainable, especially if your players display proper execution of basketball plays. It is realistic, having to win at least two or three games. You do not want to go on planning things that are impossible to achieve. And it is definitely time-bound, indicating to get the job done within the next couple of weeks, when they games will be held.

Once the plan is established, turn it up into action. If you are the coach, get your boys off your feet and on the court. The key to implementation is proper execution. Planning will be nothing if not properly executed. As what they say, It is easier said than done. It takes a lot of practice, conditioning, and hard work to get your plans into reality. Winning ball games always boils down into proper execution of what has been learned and practiced in scrimmages.

Players must continue to learn and enhance the fundamentals skills of basketball. Persistence in shooting, dribbling, running, jumping, footwork, etc. can lead to leveling up your basketball skills. The greatest shooters in basketball do hundreds of shots during practices. And the greatest ball handlers do dribbling drills over and over again to master the skill and to improve. Thedr are just some examples when players are persistent. Fundamental skills of basketball are major points to playing successfuly amd winning games.

Players and coaches should overcome the pressure and keep their mind in the game. There will always be distractions along the way, but they should learn how to handle them well. Mental toughness can be one of the foundations that helps coaches solve unexpected or rising problems, and then for players to execute their plays.

After conditioning the mind, the body should be the next. It is important that the mind controls a body that is ready for competition. Physical conditioning consists of exercises that players do develop to enhance their strength, endurance, speed, agility, etc.

A confident player is not afraid to go on court and play against anyone, who dares to step up. He does his job, dribbles and shoots and he does not feel inferior against anybody. Inferiority will pull you down and this is not good when you want to play successfully. Coaches should be confident with their (often strategical) decisions, and players should be confident in taking their shots and maintain confidence of their trained skills.

Coaches love to have players who have the heart to hustle and win. These players sacrifice banging up their bodies against opponents just to rebound the ball and put it back in the basket. The heart to win is the willingness of the players to play and win. Surrendering is not an option for them. They have dedicated themselves to the game, whether they win or not, does not matter as long as they know they have fought their heart out.

[info_box]Picture credit: rkramer62Creative Commons Attribution[/info_box]