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How to Be a Great Teammate in Basketball: What You Need to Know

Getting More Out of Your Basketball Players


Welcome to ‘How to Be a Great Teammate in Basketball: What You Need to Know,’ your comprehensive guide to fostering camaraderie, cohesion, and success on the court. Basketball is not just about individual skill; it’s about teamwork, synergy, and supporting one another to achieve collective goals. In this guide, we’ll explore the qualities and behaviors that define exceptional teammates, from communication and leadership to selflessness and trust. Whether you’re a seasoned player or new to the game, join us as we uncover the keys to building strong team dynamics, elevating performance, and creating a winning culture that extends far beyond the scoreboard.


5 Ways to be a Great Teammate in Basketball


5 Ways to be a Great Teammate in Basketball


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.




10 Characteristics of a High Character Basketball Players


10 Characteristics of a High Character Basketball Players


High character basketball players are a must for any team that has championship goals. It takes players that are willing to step up and lead and get everyone moving towards one common purpose. Players like this are invaluable to a team. This basketball article is going to breakdown the ten characteristics of a high character player.


No Plays Off

The temptation for players is to take possessions off when they are tired or mentally fatigued. This usually happens on the defensive end of the court. High character basketball players stay mentally engaged when they are on the court, and they recognize that they have a responsibility to the team to be locked in on every play.



Maximum Effort

There are always going to be players that are more naturally gifted and faster than others. They can finish in the top 3 on every sprint without having to give their best effort. A high character player recognizes that they are competing against themselves to run as fast as they can. They try to win every sprint and run as fast as they can each time.



Competes in Every Basketball Drill

There are always going to be specific basketball drills that players like more than others. The tendency with this is to give less effort on the drills that aren’t as fun or as enjoyable. This is not how high character players approach drills, though.

Instead, they have already committed to competing and giving their best effort in every drill they do. They do this because they want to improve individually and also help the team get better.

Leads by Example

We have all heard the phrase, “talk is cheap.” This is especially true when it comes to leadership. Anyone can talk about doing the right things, but it takes a special player to stay committed to doing it the right way day in and day out, regardless of how they feel on a specific day. High character players lead with their actions daily.


Holds Teammates Accountable

Great basketball teams are player-led, which means that the leaders of a team need to make sure that they are holding their teammates accountable. If a teammate is acting in a way that hinders the team’s success, there needs to be leaders on the team that step up and say something.

High character basketball players can lead their teammates because they have already been modeling the team-first attitude. They don’t allow anything or anyone to take away from the team’s success.



Celebrates Other’s Success

Whether your role is leading scorer or 12th man on the team, high character basketball players must celebrate another teammate’s success and the team’s success. This doesn’t mean that you don’t work hard for a bigger role on the team, but there is no place for talking bad about teammates or complaining about minutes.



First In and Last Out

This goes back to leading with actions and not just words. Your teammates know who is in the gym working hard and who isn’t. If you want to challenge your teammates to work harder, you need to be the hardest worker on the team. Show up early before practice to work hard and then stay late to work even more; your teammates will respect this.



Does the Right thing when No One is Watching

It is easy to do the right thing when you know a coach is watching, but your character is revealed when no one is watching. Do you touch every line during team conditioning even when the coaches aren’t watching? Do you complete every rep?

This may seem like a trivial thing, but it adds up and becomes something bigger if you allow yourself to cut corners. High character basketball players hold themselves accountable and do it the right way because it is the right thing.



Invested in Teammates

Getting in the gym and working on your individual skill development is great. However, the next step and a sign of a high character basketball player is bringing teammates with you when you go to the gym.

High character basketball players are invested in their teammates, and they understand that they can’t do it all on their own. They recognize that it takes a great team to win games and, ultimately, championships.



Communicates at a High Level

Basketball is a game of communication. Whether you are on the defensive end of the court, on the bench, or on offense, you should always be communicating. Communication saves breakdowns and helps the team’s overall success. One of the best players to ever do this was Kevin Garnett when he played in the NBA. He used his voice to anchor the defense, communicate on offense, and help to bring energy to his teammates.

As a high character basketball player, you want to be the best communicator on your team. Communication is contagious, and before you know it, the whole team will follow your lead and begin to communicate on a high level.





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