5 Ways to be a Great Teammate in Basketball

5 Ways to be a Great Teammate in Basketball

This article was written by Basketball HQ co-founder Kyle Ohman.


It seems that in today’s game with younger players, there is this misconception about what a great teammate looks like. There is this idea that you are either a great teammate or a great player, and it is up to the bench players or the role players to be good teammates.

However, that is just not the case. The best players on each team should also be the best teammates. If you need any further argument for this, just look at the Golden State Warriors or the San Antonio Spurs.

Both of these teams are filled with players that unselfishly put the team first, but somehow seem like they are having more fun than any other team in the NBA, while also, most importantly, winning at a high level.

There are skilled players that dominate the ball and put up great numbers, but eventually, they lose to a team that plays unselfishly for each other and is willing to do whatever it takes to win. Great teams are filled with great teammates; it is as simple as that.

Listed below are five ways that every basketball player can focus on to be a better teammate and help their team.



  • We Over Me
    • Understand that the team comes first and must be put above any personal goals.
    • Be willing to sacrifice personal achievements for the team’s success, if needed.
      • In most cases, the team’s success also raises your individual success. People like to follow winning teams.
  • Bring it Everyday
    • Have a great attitude even when you are tired, frustrated, etc.
    • Encourage teammates to have a great attitude.
      • Must speak to them in the right way.


  • No Plays Off
    • Give your best effort in practice, conditioning, the weight room, and any other team activity.
    • Play your hardest, regardless of whether you feel like it or not.
    • Teammates are always watching what you do.
      • You are always a leader, one way or the other.
  • Off the Court
    • Do your best in everything that you do.
      • Classroom
      • Film
      • Scouting Report
      • Studying
    • Your best effort shouldn’t just be limited to basketball.



  • On the Floor
    • Know the offense, defense, and any scouting report changes.
    • Understand time and score, what the coach wants, game flow, and all the other details of each game.
  • On the Bench
    • Be equally engaged and communicate with teammates on the court.
      • Echo play calls.
      • Communicate to defense:
        • Cutters
        • Screens
        • Scouting Report
        • Type of Defense
    • Celebrate team success.
      • Bring energy from the bench.
    • Don’t isolate at the end of the bench.
    • Talk to coaches to better understand what they are looking for from you.
      • Shows coaches that you are invested in the game.



  • Buy Into Your Role
    • Whether it the leading scorer, defensive specialist, etc., you need to master your role.
    • It is all about being the best you can be at YOUR job.
  • Improving Your Role
    • Always be working hard on your own to increase your role on the team.
      • This needs to be done with extra work before and after practice.
    • Be ready when the time comes to showcase your hard work.
      • This may be more minutes, more shots, etc. Whatever it is, be ready to go when you are called upon.



  • Lead by Example
    • Be the first in and the last out of every practice, workout, meeting, etc.
    • Give your best effort in everything that you do.
  • Invest in Teammates
    • Bring your teammates to the gym with you to workout.
    • Hold teammates accountable in practice and games (speaks to them in the right way).
      • Must earn the right to do this by being consistent (goes back to daily attitude and effort).
    • Celebrate another teammate’s success.
  • Knowledge
    • Help teammates better understand the team’s plays, defense, strategy, etc.
      • To do this, you must be willing to put in the extra time to make sure that you understand team strategy at a high level.


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