You are in charge. This is your team! You show no fear, you are not afraid of making a mistake, and the team focus is always on “us”. Give the ball up quickly to open teammates unless there is a distinct reason not to. Teammates will learn quickly as to your intentions. You need to be unselfish by not looking to score first unless the coach wants you to and says so in front of teammates. As a matter of fact, you look for opportunities for your squad members to score. If they are not rewarded for getting open, for running the floor on the break, they will quickly figure out to stop working to get open because it doesn’t pay often. If a good opportunity for you to  score appears, then capitalize on it.

(2)     You are the coach on the floor, a direct reflection of the coach on the bench. You know the game plan the coach has built and you realize your own personal game plan, if different, needs to be ignored. Coaches decide who, what, and when gives us our best chances to win and your job is to work diligently to make that happen. Our job is to play either to our strength’s or at their weaknesses and the coach is best equipped to figure out how to play the numbers in order to optimize our chances of winning. Early in a game, we need to test the defense thoroughly which comes from patience and us running our stuff to test the “D” as to what they can handle and can’t handle. Quick perimeter shots unfortunately tells us little about their defense and probably has little to do with playing to our strengths or at their weaknesses.

(3)     As the team leader, you need to make sure that team members take care of business…in the locker room, on the court, in the hallways and classrooms as well as in the community. We need your leadership beyond just the floor. Basketball is the most complex of team games and unity and loyalty between players is of utmost importance. That is what helps develop the team attitude we share and very few groups function without leadership. Leadership can be shared.

(4)     You also need to keep your teammates in touch with the coach and your coaches in touch with your teammates. You are most likely aware of things happening both on and off the court that may have an impact on our successes during the season. If you can see both perspectives and help keep a balance, it will allow both sides to have confidence in you.

(5)     Help your team stay positive. Don’t put people down either seriously, or with humor. This occurs everywhere, not just on the court. Coaches must be critical at times and correct players as that is part of their actual job, but athletes are playing with dynamite when they try to bring fun at teammates difficulties. Even coaches need to be very careful with words.

(6)     Daily practice must be your thing. Teams play as they collectively practice. You can establish our traits of hard working, focus and discipline. When you get tired or a body part aches, you simply play above it. You model it for your teammates who all will be tired, or hurt a bit at times. Your enthusiasm, going from one drill to the next one even if you are not having a great day is what sets us apart: good players and teams play above difficulties.

(7)     Constantly compliment your teammates for all of the good things they do. It will allow you to suggest things at other times to encourage someone to tighten something up.

(8)     Make it your top personal goal to outwork every single team member. Great leaders function in the trenches with those they lead. When other team members know you are the “real deal”, they will typically fall in line behind you.

(9)     When a teammate makes a mistake, pick them up and help them put it behind them. When you make a mistake, learn from it and also put it behind you.

(10) As a leader, you think of others first.