I like to call it the basketball coaching struggle. Finding the balance between on the court success and off the court success can be a tough thing. Many coaches have found themselves unhappy with their team and then in turn unhappy with how things are going at home. And since we can't just turn off our emotions when we leave the gym or when we walk out of the house I want to offer one way to keep your team on the up and up as well as keep smiles on the faces of your family too.
1. Celebrate successes.
It doesn’t matter if your 1-19 or 19-1 celebrate the successes, both big and small. If a player takes a charge celebrate the effort and sacrifice they made for the team. If a player has a personal best in a specific area hand them a Gatorade. There are so many areas you can choose from to celebrate. One thing to keep in mind, try not to make everything about stats. If a player doesn’t play they will never be celebrated. Make sure some of your celebrations revolve around effort, attitude, leadership, and being a teammate. Whatever you choose to celebrate know that your players will follow suit and begin to celebrate each other without you leading it every time.
We celebrated our Top 100 High Schools Sportsmanship Award even though it had nothing to do with stats or wins and losses.
Celebrating your teams successes can pay off big time as the season drags on or the team loses a couple of games in a row. Keep the players engaged and bought in no matter what the scoreboard shows.
2. Include your family.
Your family sacrifices so you can be in the gym, on the bus, at the team meeting, etc. Don’t ever get so caught up in you that you forget about them. Sure they come and sit in the stands and you think this is great, but if they aren’t recognized for their sacrifices problems can creep up on you, even when your team is finding great success. Take your spouse to dinner, let your kids come to practice, allow your kids in the locker room before a game, get your team to play a game with them at the end of a practice. You can also make it known that practice will be short because you have a date with your spouse or because your kids have a play you need to get to. This is where you’ll show your players how to prioritize the right things. (As coacehs we can’t talk and post blurbs about creating relationships if we never show them how to build proper relationships. Your spouse, kids, and team will cheer that much harder when they know how much you care about them.
Harrison working the clock for me at practice.
Use these two strategies to keep the focus on what matters most - your family and your players. While the scoreboard may not always be in our favor, I believe we can find more success when everyone is on the same page and truly pulling for each other to do well.