Building Trust in Your Basketball Program

Building Trust in Your Basketball Program

This basketball coaching article was written by Tigh Compton, an assistant coach at the University of Pikeville.


The Importance of Trust in Your Basketball Program

There may not be a more crucial ingredient for success than TRUST. In basketball, trust has to be a two-way street. Basketball players and coaches alike must trust each other on several different levels if we want to experience any long-term success. Trust must be present amongst teammates, coaches, and all support staff. Let us take a look at both the player and the coach’s roles when it comes to developing trust.

Players must trust that the coach has their best interest in mind at all times. Players who buy into a “win first” mentality must know that the coach is always thinking of what is best for the team and their chances of success.

When players trust in their coach, you begin to get more energy, effort, and focus in practice and in games. When basketball players trust their teammates, you begin to see the teamwork and execution necessary to help the team reach its full potential.

Earning Your Basketball Player’s Trust

As a basketball coach, how do you earn your players’ trust? Some players are tougher to win over than others, but in the end, it is all about the relationships you can build with them. Players do not care how much you know until they know how much you care!

By showing your players respect, listening to them and communicating effectively, always being honest and following through with your promises, etc., you are showing your basketball team how much you care about developing a genuine relationship with them. Show your team that you care about them no matter what their game averages are, and you are on your way to reaching the level of trust between player and coach that is necessary for your team to reach its full potential.


Developing Trust Between Basketball Players

In my opinion, the hardest trust to develop is trust between teammates. It is our job as basketball coaches to find ways to develop this. By creating a culture of trust from top to bottom in your program, you invite every member of the team to “buy-in” to a team-first mentality.

When the players develop a team-first mentality, the sky becomes the limit. A win-at-all-costs mentality is all about what is on the front of the jersey, not what is on the back. It takes a tremendous amount of leadership and sacrifice from everyone in the program to reach this mentality.


Player Leadership Roles

Once your basketball players trust one another, the leaders on your team become very important. It is the responsibility of the leaders on your basketball team to help the coaching staff manage all of the different personalities and egos that are part of your program. With trust comes responsibility and expectation.

Players must expect and accept the responsibility placed on them by their coaches to help create a team-first culture. Pat Riley said it best when he said, “There are only two options regarding commitment. You are either in or out. There is no in-between.” Leaders must take personal ownership of their team.



Building Trust in Your Basketball Program Conclusion

Basketball teams that reach their full potential are the teams that learn to trust one another. As a coach, make sure you are developing the right type of relationships with your basketball players. Make sure they know that you care about them and their development off the court as much as you do their production on the court. When it comes to earning trust, nothing will take you further than the relationships you build to last a lifetime.


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2 Responses

  1. Thanks for this email. I truly believe that trust is the foundation to any meaningful relationship. In sports is means so much nowadays for coaches to understand trust. There use to be a time where coaches really could coach with the my way or the highway mentality but that is changes. Parents are more involved with their children’s sports, and for those young people who lack the parental support, a relationship with a coach might be the closest thing they have to a caring adult in their lives. You can lose kids quick, if a relationship is not there and its simply about winning games.

    Great article, thanks for posting this information.

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