Hello and Welcome to the 25th edition of the Coach’s Corner Round Table on the Hoop Heads Podcast. Each episode of the Coach’s Corner Round Table will feature our All-Star lineup of guests answering a single basketball question. A new Coach’s Corner Round Table will drop around the 15th of each month.
January’s Round Table question is: How do you motivate your team or an individual player? What works for you?
Our Coaching Lineup this month:
- Erik Buehler – Chatfield (CO) High School
- Joe Harris – Chelan (WA) High School
- Bobby Jordan – Wagner College
- Nick LoGalbo – Lane Tech (IL) High School
- Nate Sanderson – Thrive on Challenge
- Mark Schult – University of West Georgia
- Don Showalter – USA Basketball
- John Shulman – University of Alabama Huntsville
- Joe Stasyszyn – Unleashed Potential
Please enjoy this Round Table episode of the Hoop Heads Podcast and once you’re finished listening please give the show a five star rating and review. If you are a basketball coach at any level please check out our Hoop Heads Coaching Mentorship Program. You’ll get matched with one of our experienced Head Coaches and develop a relationship that will help take your coaching, your team, your program, and your mindset to another level.
And don’t forget to check out our Hoop Heads Pod Network of shows including Thrive with Trevor Huffman, Beyond the Ball, The CoachMays.com Podcast, Player’s Court, Bleachers & Boards, The Green Light and our team focused NBA Podcasts: Cavalier Central, Grizz n Grind, Knuck if you Buck, The 305 Culture, Blazing the Path, #Lakers, Motor City Hoops, X’s and O’s: NBA Breakdown, Spanning the Spurs, LA Hoops, Thunderous Applause & The Wizards Hoops Analyst. We’re looking for more NBA podcasters interested in hosting their own show centered on a particular team. Email us email@example.com if you’re interested in learning more and bringing your talent to our network.
Let’s hear from our coaches about how they motivate their players and teams.
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TRANSCRIPT FOR ROUND TABLE 25 – HOW DO YOU MOTIVATE YOUR TEAM OR AN INDIVIDUAL PLAYER? WHAT WORKS FOR YOU? – EPISODE 419
[00:00:00] Narrator: [00:00:00] The Hoop Heads Podcast is brought to you by Head Start Basketball.
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Adam Cestaro: [00:01:12] Hi, this is Adam Cestaro Boy’s head varsity basketball coach at Highland high school in Medina, Ohio and you’re listening to the Hoop Heads Podcast.
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Hello, welcome to the 25th edition of the coach’s corner round table on the Hoop Heads podcast. Each episode of the coach’s corner round table will feature our all-star lineup of guests answering a single basketball question. Anew coaches corner round table will drop around the 15th of each month.
January’s round table question is, “How do you motivate your team or an individual player? What works for you?
Our coaching lineup this month includes
EriK Buehler from Chatfield High School
Joe Harris from Chelan High School
Bobby Jordan from Wagner College
Nick LoGalbo from Lane Tech High School
Nate Sanderson from Thrive on Challenge
Mark Schulte from the University of West Georgia.
Don Showalter from USA basketball,
John Shulman from the University of Alabama Huntsville
Joe Stasyszyn from Unleashed Potential.
Please enjoy this round table episode of the Hoop Heads Podcast. And once you’re [00:03:00] finished listening, please give the show a five star rating and review. If you’re a basketball coach at any level, please check out our Hoop Heads coaching mentorship program. You’ll get matched with one of our experienced head coaches and develop a relationship that will take your coaching, your team, your program, and your mindset to another level.
And don’t forget to check out our Hoop Heads Pod Network of shows including Thrive with Trevor Huffman, Beyond the Ball, The CoachMays.com Podcast, Player’s Court, Bleachers & Boards, The Green Light and our team focused NBA Podcasts: Cavalier Central, Grizz n Grind, Knuck if you Buck, The 305 Culture, Blazing the Path, #Lakers, Motor City Hoops, X’s and O’s: NBA Breakdown, Spanning the Spurs, LA Hoops, Thunderous Applause & The Wizards Hoops Analyst. We’re looking for more NBA podcasters interested in hosting their own show centered on a particular team. Email us email@example.com if you’re interested in learning more and bringing your talent to our network.[00:04:00]
Let’s hear from our coaches about how they motivate their players and their teams.
Mike Klinzing: Eric Buehler, Chatfield Senior High School, Littleton, Colorado.
Erik Buehler: [00:04:13] Hey, what’s going on Hoop Heads? This is Eric Buehler at Chatfield Senior High. And this month we were asked how do we motivate our team or individuals on our team and what works for us?
I hope I’m not giving a cliche answer, but I think, and I truly believe it. The most important thing with motivation is that relationship that you build with each individual on your team. I think you can get a kid or a high school age kid to run through a wall for you. If they know that you have their best interests in mind and you have the team’s best interest in mind.
And that you truly care about the after that just kind of getting to know a kid and know what works for them as an individual, and then kind of get the [00:05:00] pulse of your team and what works for individual teams from year to year. Some kids like you to be hard on them. They want you to give them the true straight up in the middle of practice and other kids.
They want you to pull them aside and have that one-on-one conversation. Some kids like to use social media and things you post that are for inspiration or for motivation. Some kids like the rah rah speech, some kids don’t, some kids just want to go get down to business. So I think the more, you know, your team, the more, you know, those individuals the more you can take that multifaceted approach, I don’t think there’s any one way to skin the cat with motivating your team, but.
There are many different ways that I think you have to be prepared to try and to work through as a coach. I hope everyone out there is either having a good season or about to have a good season and staying safe. Thanks for having me on again, talk to you later,
Mike Klinzing: [00:05:59] Joe [00:06:00] Harris, Lake Chelan High School Lake Chelan, Washington.
Joe Harris: [00:06:06] Hello, this is Joe Harrison. Chelan High School tonight’s round table question asking us, how do you motivate your individuals and your teams? Well, there are many ways to motivate your athletes and your teams, but I truly believe that motivation starts when you create a trust within your program, then this trust must be athlete to athlete, coach, to coach athlete, to coach all members of your program. Do they know. That you know them on a deeper level. Are you being honest with them that all times and transparent in your conversations, do they know that you actually care about them inside and out of, out of the gym? Ask yourself why you coach? Because if they really know that you care about him, you can cry on them and you can hold them accountable and you can push them to reach beyond what they thought was possible.
Mike Klinzing: Bobby Jordan, Wagner College, Staten Island, New York.
Bobby Jordan: [00:07:01] Two great ways to motivate your players or your team during a season first is to challenge a player challenged them to be great. I think the best players always want to be challenged. They always want to get better. They always want to know how they can get better and what they need to do in order to get better.
In terms of motivating your team, I think the best way to do that is, is basically always teaching them the why. You know, why are they doing certain drills and practice? Why are we preparing for a game like this? I think when your team understands, why you are doing something, the motivation level of the team picks up.
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Mike Klinzing: Nick LoGalbo, Lane Tech High School, Chicago, Illinois.
Nick LoGalbo: [00:08:36] This is Nick LoGalbo from Lane Tech High School in Chicago. Round table question number 25. How do you motivate your team on individual player? What works for you? You know, for me, when I think about this question, the motivation I think really about two mentors of mine and what they’ve said to me over the years, you know, first week with coach show, he always says that, you know, Players don’t have bad days coaches do.
[00:09:00] And that’s advice I got early on in my career and it’s something I’ve taken with me pretty much every day, that if we’re ever in a poor practice, the energy isn’t there, I know players got to bring their energy for sure. But I think it’s up for me to set the bar and set the standard. And if I’m letting myself dip or I’m not locked in, or I’m not engaged, I’m giving everyone else in the program, the license to do the same.
And I think about Jim Valvano, he always talked about the idea that. You were for him, it was to be up at a certain level and always be there when he talks about motivation was motivating himself to be at that level every day and to bring his players in his program with him. And it never deviate from that standard.
And it’s just something I think about a lot. Right. You can’t expect something for somebody else if you’re not willing to do it yourself. And for me, I just, I want to motivate everyone just by my presence and my energy and just always being on a it’s something I take a lot of pride in. I think that that’s what we as coaches sign up for.
So that’s my answer for the group and I hope, you know, I’d love to hear what everyone else has to say.
[00:10:00] Mike Klinzing: [00:10:01] Nate Sanderson Thrive on Challenge.
Nate Sanderson: [00:10:07] Mike, I’m going to give you a little bit different, take on motivation here. And I know a lot of coaches are probably working with their players and what their teams on. End of the year goals and certain achievements or accomplishments that they’d like to do by the end of the season. And certainly those things can be valuable and provide guidance and direction and motivation throughout the year.
But particularly as you get closer to the post season, I think there’s a lot of value in trying to get your team to a place where they are playing for each other. And I know in the last 10 years of my career, the teams that have been the most enjoyable to be a part of. And, and I think of it. Fulfill their potential or their, the complish the most at the end of the year, they weren’t playing for specific goals.
They were playing for each other. They were playing for their seniors. They were playing for the experience to continue. Now, obviously the question [00:11:00] becomes, how do you do that? How do you get your team to that place? And I think there’s some things that we found have worked well for us over the years, that helped us start to position your players and your team to kind of adopt this mindset of appreciation for each other and for how special that team can be at the end of the year.
So let me give you a couple of examples of things that we’ll do. Really around this time of year, mid January into early February is we’re getting ready for the post season. We’ll do a team meeting where we really focus on the question of how do people have fun around here. And in fact, we did this today with my team and looked at the golden state warriors.
We pulled some videos off of YouTube and talked about, looked at, listen to them, talk about joy and playing with them. Fun and looked at some highlights in some clips of them sharing the ball and throwing behind the back passes and, and celebrating each other on the bench. And we just said, look, when, when they’re playing and having a great [00:12:00] time, what does that look like?
And we got the kids to talk about that a little bit. And then we asked the question, well, when, what does it look like? What does it feel like? What are we doing? When we’re playing at our best or when we’re having the most fun together. And we talked about that, the things that bring the highest level of competitiveness and of selflessness and of service and, and passing the ball and sharing the ball and all of those things, we want to really try to make them aware of, because it does make the game the most fun to play together.
And getting your players to see that and to reinforce that with each other can be a powerful way for them to recognize, Hey, it is really fun to be part of this team. Now, next week, what we’ll do with our team is we’ll bring them in and we’re going to create some appreciation cards, just in three by five cards and envelopes.
And we’re going to have them write appreciation notes to some of their teachers or teachers in our district. And we do a little bit of a lesson before that. [00:13:00] Talking about the power of appreciation and not just in receiving appreciation or acknowledgement or expressions of gratitude from others, but there’s a lot of studies.
There’s a lot of research that says the psychological benefit, the benefit to our own individual mental health. By expressing gratitude and learning to express appreciation for others can have long lasting affects on our mood, on our attitude or our positivity over a number of weeks. And so to get our players to practice that we focus their attention on just reaching out and appreciating the staff in our building.
Then the following week or sometime toward the end of January, early February is we’re getting ready for senior night. We’ll do a similar activity with our seniors. And in fact, I’ll take the seniors out of the classroom and I’ll have them kind of talk amongst themselves a little bit about what are they going to miss most about being [00:14:00] part of this team.
And while they’re having that conversation, Our players in the classroom are talking amongst themselves about what they’re going to miss and what they’ve enjoyed most about the seniors. And oftentimes we’ll give them cards or note cards or three by five cards, whatever it might be to actually write out some of those thoughts.
And when we bring our seniors back into the room, the seniors will kind of express that to their teammates. What they’ve enjoyed most about playing together, what they’re going to remember most about the season. And then we have the rest of the team kind of just read some of those. Cards and just those Valentines to the individual seniors about what they appreciate.
And this can be a really galvanizing moment in your season. And particularly at the end of the year to really allow your team to enjoy the moments while they’re still there. And finally, one last activity or one last conversation, I think can be really powerful with your squad, particularly again, as you’re getting ready to enter the post season.
[00:15:00] It’s a think about how you would tell the story of your season. Where did you begin? What was the team like when they first came together? What were some of the challenges and the obstacles that the team got through to get to where they are? How have they grown? How have they become closer? How have they again, been refined by maybe some of the, the fire and the adversity that you may have faced during the year.
And it looking back and saying, we got through some of this stuff together. We’re better now than we were a month ago, two months ago, certainly three months ago when the season started, we stayed together through some tough times or some challenging situations again, to just really emotionally. Bring your team to a place where they really, I appreciate each day that they have left.
And when you get into that post season, it doesn’t become about. Achieving a championship or a regional title or advancing to the state tournament as much as it is. [00:16:00] They’ve gained a recognition through these activities of how special this experience is to be part of this team. And quite simply, they’re playing to be able to stay alive and keep that experience going for one more game or two more practices.
If we can win to honor the seniors to enjoy as much as they can and to enjoy. At least that game in front of them, that they know they have left to play together. So that those moments don’t slip by and they look back and think if only I would have enjoyed that more, we really try to make them aware of their experience of their brotherhood, of their commitment to each other and how much fun it is to be part of our team so that they’re motivated by that rather than the pressure to win at the end of the season.
Mike Klinzing: [00:16:51] Mark Schult, University of West Georgia
Mark Schult: [00:16:57] Motivating a team or an individual [00:17:00] player. You know, really on the individual side, I think it can vary you know, depending on the individual and sell him or herself. You know, I think the biggest thing with motivating players is they have to trust you. You know, they have to understand that you’ve got their best interest at heart.
And, and that all you’re trying to do, and when motivating them is, is get the most out of their you know, physical and mental ability you know, in order to. To kind of build that trust with the guys, I think the most effective ways is just suspend the time. You know, whether that’s, that’s taken time, you know, before practice, after practice and getting shots up, you know, whether, whether it’s the weekend and you got some extra time to, you know, hang out in the locker room or whatever it may be in your program.
You know, I think the, the, the number one thing that you have to remember when, when trying to motivate your players is, is making sure that they trust you. You know, and then w w once they trust you, you know, the, the, the motivation piece [00:18:00] can, can come in a variety of different ways. You know? I, I think if, if you know someone well enough and you have a mutual level of trust you know, it makes it easier to, to push their buttons, so to speak.
You know, but, but not everybody responds to that. You know, some guys need some, some players need. You don’t need to be whispered, you know, whispered at to get motivated. And in some players respond better if they’re yelled at in front of the whole group, you know, or, or corrected in front of the whole group.
You know, so I, I really think, you know, it, it can be an individual, you know, player basis on, on how to motivate. But, but the common denominator across all of them is, is they have to trust you, you know, in order to, to really take any, any direction or take any instruction from you.
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Mike Klinzing: [00:19:27] Don Showalter, USA basketball.
Don Showalter: [00:19:32] Hi, Don Showalter here with USA basketball. The question for today is how do you motivate your team or an individual player and what works for you? I would say the first thing that all coaches need to do is make sure you develop a real strong relationship with your players. I think this is a big motivational factor in itself.
So you get a relationship going with players in your [00:20:00] team. They understand you, they trust you. The trust is a big factor. They trust you and, and that helps to motivate them. Also on the motivation standpoint I think if you really care about them if you care about their progress and let them know when they are improving the positive comments you make.
Really our motivators. And so when they see that you, as a coach are watching them and giving them positive feedback, they will work harder and harder to become a better player. So I think this is, this is a great motivational factor. You know, other things like, you know, simple things like having a free thrill, a ladder through thrill board and given, given socks away having a.
Having a, having a bench player of the, of the week giving it to a player who never gets in a game, but is a great bench player that, I mean, those are things that [00:21:00] motivate players who may not be playing much as well. And then you, as a coach just conversing and, and really giving some feedback to your players, it can be a high, highly motivational type of thing that your players really feed off of.
Mike Klinzing: [00:21:16] John Shulman, University of Alabama – Huntsville, and the 720 sports group.
John Shulman: [00:21:23] This is John Shulman, head basketball coach at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. The question is how do you motivate an individual? How do you motivate your basketball team? Great question. Tough question.
Interesting question and one that probably has about 55 different answers. I don’t think, you know, it’s the same deal as you. You can’t treat everybody equal, but you treat everybody fairly. Everybody, you better do an unbelievable job of forming a relationship and having a relationship with your team and your kids [00:22:00] individually and no.
The pulse of your team in the pulse of each kid. You’re going to have to know what, you know, everybody’s got a hot button. You yell at that kid that may help him. You yell at the other kid that may hurt him. So I don’t think I think fear is a bad one is a bad motivator. I think you just got to get to know your kids and your team.
I don’t think anybody does better with fear. As a motivating factor, I used to be in that mode as a younger head coach, as a younger coach. But I think now you know, I just, I just think you can motivate in a different way now. I do think in practice. I think practice gets old after a and drill after drill, after drill.
And I think to motivate and practice, I think you need to make things very competitive. And I think that takes care of that. And then all of a sudden, you see who can, who wants to compete, who doesn’t want to compete. So I think competitive stuff in [00:23:00] practice is vital, right? It’s very important to help motivate.
But also I think you know, just to be honest, you got to find self motivated kids. Who come in and work when you’re not there having to motivate. If you’re having to motivate your team, you’re probably not going to have a very good basketball team in a very determined team and a very successful team, but you’re still gonna have to figure out how to motivate those individuals has a parent.
I’m trying to motivate my kids every day and try to motivate my youngest to, to get in shape and to be a good player, that’s hard, but that’s how you learn how to motivate. All you’re looking for is one hot button. You’re looking for one way to get inside that kid’s head and that kid’s heart.
And when you find it, it’s easy and then you just put it in the vault and understand that, you know, I’ve got two kids, I’ve got. Some kids here at UAH. One I can rip and yell at and one, I can’t even come close to and I give him [00:24:00] belief because motivation is all about getting their tail ends off the.
The floor and getting those guys out there and giving them belief and hope that they can get it done. Some guys you give belief and hope to and tell them how good they are. They believe it. And they stop working. Some of them that takes them to another level that gets back to my original statement.
You better get to know your team and your kids and know what makes them tick and what their hot button is. Once you find their hot button you can motivate them any way you want to. You got to show them, you love them and care for them. And then you can really coach and motivate hope. This helps.
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Mike Klinzing: [00:25:36] Joe Stasyszyn, Unleashed Potential Carlisle, Pennsylvania
Joe Stasyszyn: [00:25:43] Joe Stasyszyn, Unleashed Potential. This month’s question is how do you motivate your team or an individual player? This this question is something that’s very, very close and very dear to me, in terms of, of my player development model for teaching [00:26:00] psychology at the high school level and sports psychology working with, with numerous.
College athletic teams with motivation and sports psychology. This is, this is a subject that I really, really could talk about for a long time. So I’m just going to share some ways that I motivate teams or individuals. I consider this to be the total player development model. You hear coaches talk about player development, but very seldom.
Do you hear them talk about a mental player development, which is a huge, huge part of the total player development package in my opinion. So the first thing is I talked to players and teams about 1% improvement, a day improvement. If you improve 1% a day, Every day, you’re going to see your improvement really get better and better and better in the longterm, rather than looking at the, you know, the picture of, you know, total improvement overall.
I think that can be overwhelming to players and teams. So I think if you focus on the 1% [00:27:00] improvement a day, just get a little bit better every day, rather than trying to get so much better. Every day, I think you’ll see much more improvement, a lot quicker and a lot better in terms of how you approach things.
So that’s the first thing. The second thing is to ask yourself if I knew I couldn’t fail, what would I do? So if you take, if you tell a player to take failure right out of the equation, or tell a team, say, you know, there’s no possibility of us failing, what would you be able to do? So have them think about that as a way to motivate them?
To to achieve success and have them think about that question. I really liked that. I think that’s very, very important. And the third thing is ways to create excellence in your sport or your life is, is, can be related to life or. Or sports in any sport? Actually, the first thing is you need to know your outcome or know what you want, what are you trying to achieve?
That’s, that’s very important. Second thing is be flexible when you don’t achieve the outcome you want, you need to change your behavior, not the [00:28:00] outcome outcome. So in other words, if you keep getting the same results, then obviously you need to change what you’re doing. Okay. So that thing that is a very, very important concept when you know, trying to motivate teams or individuals.
That if you’re getting the wrong behavior, then you’re getting the wrong outcome, then you need to change your behavior. The next thing is to learn, to read feedback. You know, I like to tell players and teams that failure is only feedback. Okay. It’s okay to fail because you, you, sometimes you have to fail to learn or to get better.
So I like to use that as a motivation also to, to tell players and teams that it’s okay to fail. That’s how we learn. That’s how we get better. And the last part of that is another part of that is to take action. Okay. Ask how not, why? How can I get better? Not, not, why are these things not, not working for me?
Okay. So that’s a very important part of that. Also creating excellence in your [00:29:00] sport of basketball or life. And then the next thing is that I like to incorporate into motivation with teams and players is I like to use the three most powerful words in sports psychology. Those words are act as all right.
And why saying that I’m saying this to train athletes to believe in themselves. If you want to become a champion tomorrow, you have to start acting like one today. So this is a good way for them to believe in themselves. So if you want to be a winner, you have to start acting like a winner. If you want to be the best, then you’ve got to start acting like the best.
What are those things that winners and best athletes or players do start acting like that today, if you want to see those results. And then another one is that I use for motivation. You hear people say that a lot of times that’s seen as believing, okay. In sports, in sports psychology. I like, I like the opposite.
Believing is seeing the, to say, if you say [00:30:00] believing, he’s seen, what you’re saying is once you believe it, then you will see it. But if you focus on seeing is believing. You’re saying yourself, you know, you can’t wait until you see something before you believe it. You could be waiting a long time for that.
So I love the phrase in motivating athletes and teams is believing is seen because once you believe it, then you’ll see a lot of great things start to happen. So I like to use that as a great motivator also. And then the final thing I have, what I call instant success skills. Number one, stay positive.
Number two, stay in the present. What you’re doing right now. And number three, get totally involved now in what you’re doing. Okay. We’re not thinking about the past. We’re not thinking about the future. We’re getting totally involved in those things. Now these are just some things that I have shared when I speak for USA basketball and our coach academies.
I could spend, I could spend a whole clinic. On sports psychology and sports player development and motivation with these things. And [00:31:00] also when I, when I speak at other clinics around the world on player development, this is a huge, huge aspect of player development. I think a lot of, a lot of coaches don’t don’t know or don’t use or, or forget about inner inner total player development package.
So I, I really loved sharing this with you today. I guess when I, when I speak in clinics and things of that nature, you know, I go a lot deeper into a lot of stuff. I just want to give you a little sample of some of the things that I really believe that teams need to use for their teams and for individuals as, as motivators.
Mike Klinzing: [00:31:36] Thanks for checking out this month’s Hoop Heads Podcast Round Table. We’ll be back next month with another question for our all-star lineup of coaches. Thanks for listening to the Hoop Heads Podcast
Narrator: [00:31:47] Thanks for listening to the Hoop Heads Podcast presented by Head Start Basketball [00:32:00]