Coach’s Corner: No Trust, No Team, No Championship.


Currently submerged in my second year of coaching I can comfortably and honestly say I have improved as a coach. As I should expect, considering I am in the gym coaching six to seven days a week. ( Sidebar/s: 1. Ball is Life. 2. If I miss your call/text/tweet… Gyms have very bad reception.) Be it high school, AAU, and even training I have had the opportunity to be a “sponge” around some coaches and programs extremely fond of winning. What I can take away from this is winning is a process. A process built around trusting three different ways.

Trust Yourself:

basketball players
Players have to trust themselves first! While it may not be more important than the other two layers. Self trust definitely is the first layer of trust in my “Basketball Trust Model.” A great basketball player has to trust themselves to do more than just take and make shots. Scoring is the fun glorified part of basketball, it is the ability to trust yourself to get through conditioning, to guard the best player, to learn the plays that winning players revel in. Basketball players will¬†have little success if they do not trust themselves. In turn, the rest of the team and coaches will not be able to trust them either.

Trust in teammates:

basketball teammates
After trusting yourself and knowing you are capable of physically and mentally competing, you have to be able to trust the players in the same jersey as you. Again this goes waaaay deeper than trusting them to make shots. In a game where ten players are trying to put one basketball in the basket, there will always be a shortage of shots going around. However there is no shortage of ability to compete, focus and give effort. You have to be able to trust that when the coach gives a certain time to make sprints that you and your teammates are working equally as hard. Often times one player not completing a sprint can penalize the whole team. During games the more you can trust that your teammates are playing their responsibilities, the more confident and comfortable you become in competing. Basketball is a game that, though many have tried, you just cannot have continued success by themselves. Winning teams are built of trusting teammates.

Trust in Coaches:

basketball coaches
Lastly players need to be able to trust in the coaches. This is a trust that much like the others two layers works best when development is reciprocated. From the players perspective they will be more inclined to listen and compete for a coach who is prepared. The same way coaches can spot when their players have taken breaks from workouts and gotten lazy, players can tell when coaches are not prepared. In addition to being prepared players on winning teams need to be able to trust that the coach puts them in the best position to win. On the other hand coaches need to be able to trust that their players are prepared mentally and physically to execute at the expected levels.

Being apart of a undefeated JV basketball program and a one loss State Championship team my first year of coaching gave me plenty to learn from. One of the most important things I picked up is that their has to be a mantra of trust amongst the team, players and coaches as a whole. Trust that extends across three levels; trust in self, trust in teammates, and trust in the coaches.
Focus on these things and the chances of success increase!!


About Author

In high school Coach Baxter was a multiple sport athlete. After graduating high school he went to college to play football. Growing up his father was a basketball coach and Coach Baxter saw first hand how coaching can be fulfilling for the athlete and the coach. Having a passion to teach, inspire, and push his peers to their potential he found a natural love for coaching. Now he coaches basketball for his AAU team as well as school.

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