Original blog by Coach Brian Williams (Do Coaches Play Favourites?) and The Coaching Toolbox . Adapted for Blackhawks use by coach Costas Rakitzis
As a player and as a human being you have responsibilities to yourself, your parents, your team mates and your coaches. You also have responsibilities to the officials, your supporters and your sponsors if you are lucky!
Now that is a lot to think about but as you get older you need to become aware of these responsibilities because it could make a big difference in the way you are treated, not just by your coaches now but also by other people in your life later.
So, what can you do as players to ensure we help others to help you make the most of your basketball experience with the Woking Blackhawks?
Here are some ideas from coach Brian Williams:
Be a hard worker.
Coaches love players who show up for everything. We love the players who are the first ones in the gym and the last ones to leave. A hard-working player gives their best effort every time they take the court, whether it’s a practice or a game.
Be a leader.
Coaches love players who lead in action and through words. Leaders inspire their teammates to reach another level. They inspire their teammates to give it their all through their example. Leaders are an extension of the coach on the floor. They buy into the program’s philosophy and get their teammates to as well.
Be a great teammate.
Coaches love players who support their fellow teammates. Great teammates are accepting of all team members and help others to get better. Coaches love it when an upperclassman goes out of their way to help the underclassmen learn. A great teammate embraces their role no matter what it is and does it to the best of their ability. Great teammates are all about “we” and whatever is best for the team.
Be a competitor.
Coaches love players who do the little things it takes to win. We love players who treat practice like it’s a game. Great competitors never go through the motions. They want to win every drill, game, and contest. Through their desire to win, and more importantly their preparation to win; great competitors inspire their teammates to give more.
Be a good citizen.
Coaches love players who represent the program well on and off the court. We love players who give back to the game and their community. Being a good citizen means doing the right thing even when it’s the most difficult thing to do. Good citizens behave in school, get good grades, and support the entire school community.
Be a play-maker.
Coaches love players who not only know what to do but can do it. Play-makers step up and make the big plays when the team needs it most. They are always making plays. Coaches love players who ask questions that will make them better. Play-makers know “why” because it gives them the confidence to go out and perform.
Coaches love players who can take constructive criticism. We want players who want to be coached and who want to be told what they need to do to get better. Coachable players never roll their eyes at the coach. They make eye contact with their coaches, and are not afraid to ask questions. Coachable athletes listen to their coach and not the stands.
Coaches love players who consistently wear and represent the Club’s gear. We want players that help promote our programmes. Players who exemplify pride express it through their words and actions. They act like being a part of the programme is a big deal and means something. Coaches love players who take pride in the little things and doing them well.
Coaches love players who are always on time. Don’t be late. Don’t miss practices, events, or games. We love players who offer no excuses and no explanations. Coaches want players they can depend on both on and off the court to make the right decisions. Being dependable also means you’re always there for a teammate in need.
Coaches love players who play with enthusiasm, courage, and spirit. Having heart means having and playing for a purpose beyond the scoreboard. When the score’s out of reach, players with heart continue to play hard to honour the game. They play for purpose that means something to them. We love players who never give up or give in. Having heart means getting back up and going again, even when it seems the most difficult.
Have the right attitude.
Some players think they are better than they are. Some think they are never good enough. Some think they know better than the coach. Some try to do the coach’s job by instructing others when their own game isn’t that great. This sort of attitude must be left at the door as a player enters the gym.
If a player has these traits, they will quickly become a coach’s favorite and earn more playing time. It’s not always about talent. It’s about what you do with that talent. It doesn't take the most athletically gifted person to have any of these traits. It doesn't require skill. However, it’s not easy. It requires a lot of mental and physical fortitude and it’s not for everyone.
I would like to add one more:
Have you ever thought of the effort that goes into delivering a simple practice session or a game for you? You have a court to play on, officials to facilitate your game, coaches to coach you, parents to transport you, team managers to make all the necessary arrangements and wash your kit and bibs, volunteers to maintain your websites and a host of other managers to deal with all sorts of issues and challenges that come up when one is running a basketball club.
Expect less and appreciate more!