Take a moment and stop asking the question, “Am I a good basketball player,” and begin asking the question, “Am I a good teammate?” If you can learn how to become a good teammate, all of the other areas of basketball will take care of themselves.
Ways To Be An Effective Teammate
- Don’t Be Focused On Personal Statistics
Sometimes in life we get caught up by numbers. How old we are, what grade we are in, how many friends we have, how much money we make per year, how many points we average per game? Try and push those thoughts to the back of your mind. Focus on areas such as, how many wins will my team have this season, how many games can I go without committing a turnover, how many good shots can I pass up to get great shots, how many teams practices will I miss throughout the entire season? If you are out on the court consistently, the points, rebounds, and assists will add up on their own without forcing the issue.
- Be Observant
Once you get to know your teammates on a personal level, you will realize that they are human and they deal will real world problems just like you. Maybe one of your teammates is having an off day because something happened at home or in school. There are a number of ways you can help out. Maybe you can be more vocal and be a leader. Take charge during some of the drills and practices and help to get your teammates in the correct spots. Maybe one of your teammates is struggling with their shot? Be aware of that during the game and try and get them an open look. Being a selfless player will bring rewards just like being a selfless person will.
- Pay Attention To Detail
Once you are on a team, it’s a long season. Try and focus on the little things. Try and make it to practice on time, or a little bit early. Show your coaches and teammates that you are taking your role seriously. Always have your uniform and accessories ready. These might seem like small details, but having your uniform, socks, and sneakers ready to go for each game will increase your readiness to be successful. When a coach is going over a play, pay attention to make sure you are always in the correct position. Little things like learning inbounds plays go a long way with increasing your playing time.
- Be Ready, Always
You never know when it’s going to be your time to make a difference. Mentally visualize yourself succeeding in different scenarios. Be ready if you are coming off the bench and be mentally and physically ready if you are a starter. Helping your team get off to a good start, or maintaining and increasing the lead, are all ways you can contribute to your team’s success. Being on a team is like being part of a family. When you are on a special team, everyone will look out for one another and care about you as a person and as a player. Try to contribute to your team’s chemistry by being the best teammate you can be.
Contributing writer Jasen Sousa for Premier Hoops is the author of a number of poetry and fiction books for young people. Jasen has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and is a life-long participant and fan of the game of basketball.