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9 Keys to Motivating Players


Coaching at every skill level involves the ability to manage obstacles that can arise when dealing with young athletes. The ability to overcome these obstacles can make the difference in a coaches’ ability to connect with their players and ensure they are developing their skills while having fun. One obstacle that can arise is the ability to motivate your players. An inability to effectively motivate players can result in less enthusiasm for the game, potentially leading to them no longer wanting to participate. In this article, Alan Stein does an excellent job outlining nine key aspects that coaches should emphasize if they are having difficulty motivating their players!

By: Alan Stein of ‘Stronger Team’

Source: http://ift.tt/1CYF2mr

Elite level coaches are superior motivators.  While there is wide range of motivational techniques and styles (look how different Doc Rivers is from Gregg Popovich or Brad Stevens is from John Calipari), the most successful coaches at every level are masters at finding ways to get each player, thus their team by default, to play to their potential on a consistent basis.

Regardless of your style, here are 9 keys to motivating players:

1) Know the game:

Players can spot incompetence from a mile away. You don’t have to have Bobby Knight or Hubie Brown’s experience or acumen, but you certainly need to constantly hone your basketball I.Q.  If you are a young or inexperienced coach, you must become a student of the game and work on your craft every day.  Only coach what you know and work hard to find out what you don’t know.

2) Discipline them:

Players actually crave discipline because it shows you care.  They also know, way down in their subconscious, that discipline is a key ingredient to success.  They will lose respect for you if you don’t.  No one is motivated by a person they don’t respect.

3) Show them why:

Players need what’s called ‘perceived relevance.’ They need to know that what they are doing will help them become the best player they can be.  They need to know that the drill they are doing today in practice will better prepare them to perform this Friday night when the lights come on and the cheerleaders start dancing.

Dad talking to son

4) Praise them:

Players need to be caught doing something right! That which gets praised, gets repeated.  Be as specific as you can in your praise. For example, “Joey, that was an excellent screen you set to get Johnny open.  You took the perfect angle, kept a wide base, and held your ground. You were the reason we scored on that play.” Trust me, Joey will take pride in setting screens for the rest of the season after that type of praise.

5) Be honest:

Players need to hear the truth.  They might not want to hear what you have to say, but they will ultimately respect your for it.  If a player isn’t going to see much playing time this season, let them know what their role will be.  If your team is a 20+ point underdog in your game, let them team they need to play hard, play smart, and play together regardless of who they play, that they aren’t measuring themselves against their opponent, but rather measuring themselves against what they are capable of.  But make sure they know that on any given night… they can beat anyone.

6) Bring ENERGY:

Players respect coaches that work just as hard as they do. Make your enthusiasm and passion contagious. You don’t get what you know. You get what you bring. If you happen to be a younger, inexperienced coach (mentioned above in #1), your daily energy & enthusiasm can make up for your lack of acumen for the time being.

7) Use innovative drills:

Gene Hackman’s famous line in Hoosiers (‘My practices aren’t designed for your enjoyment.’) doesn’t fly with today’s player.  Players have short attention spans.  Boredom causes “de-motivation”. It’s not your job to reinvent the wheel, but it is your job to constantly search for ways to get that wheel to run smoother and faster!

8) Be authentic:

Players can spot a phony just as quickly as they can spot incompetence.  Be true to yourself; don’t try to be someone else.  If Brad Stevens tried to coach like Bobby Knight, it wouldn’t work. Coach to your strengths and create your own style, philosophy, and culture.

9) Love them:

Players don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. If you truly care about your players, on and off the court, they will run through a brick wall for you. Literally.


Significance of warm-up: Your warm-up lays the foundation for every workout, practice and game.  If you want to keep your players motivated, you have to find ways to keep them engaged when laying that foundation.

Try this warm-up before your next practice:

Filed under: advice, Coaching, Leadership Tagged: childhood and youth, communication, development, Learning, parenting

Source: Steve Nash Youth Basketball Blog http://ift.tt/1fkQcNv

Manitoba's Female Provincial Teams off to Chicago for Nike National Invitational Tournament

All three of Manitoba's Female Provincial Teams are off to Chicago, Illinois this week to take part in the NCAA certified Nike National Invitational Tournament involving over 5000 other top AAU summer teams from around North America, the biggest female basketball tournament in history.  The event will act as a final official event for the teams as they gear up for the Canada Basketball national Championships later this month in Edmonton.  You can follow the game results as they happen on our Twitter feed.

RESULTS: Manitoba / Saskatchewan Split Prairie Challenge Basketball Series

Thanks to Brandon University, the Junior Bobcat Basketball Club and especially Novell Thomas for hosting the 1st Annual Prairie Challenge at Brandon University this pasty weekend!  The event featured all 6 of Manitoba's Provincial Teams at the 15, 16 and 17 age levels hosting their Saskatchewan counterparts for a 12 game day at the BU Healthy Living Centre.  The results of the day were...

Basketball Manitoba High Performance Camps for Ages 10-12 Set for Aug 31 - Sep 4

Basketball Manitoba is pleased to announce its High Performance Camps set for ages 10-12 from August 31 to September 4.  The camps will be led by High Performance Coaches Dan Becker, Randy Kusano and Provincial Team Coaches Alyssa Grant and Jon Giesbrecht.  Full details include...

WMBA Announces New Manitoba Basketball League to Begin Play This Fall

The Winnipeg Minor Basketball Association has announce details on its new club basketball league that will begin this fall.  The Manitoba Basketball League (MBL) is replacing the old Rising Stars League (RSL) with some changes to its format, timelines and fees.  The league was formed in response to the changes that were suggested by the various club teams throughout the city. With that in mind, the MBL will be a league where the member teams have a vote on decisions that determine its direction.

  • Our MISSION Is to provide a competitive basketball league with an emphasis on player, coach and club development using Long Term Athlete Development principles.
  • Our VISION: Is to be the premier club basketball league in Manitoba. We will do this by focusing on our key valus in the following areas: 
  • Developing excellence in our players coaches and officials
  • Mutual respect in a positive environment 
  • Transparency and accountability through effective communication with our members   

The MBL would like to extend an invitation to  all basketball clubs and club teams to attend their first Annual General Meeting (AGM) on September 9th 6:30pm at the Sport for Life Centre at 145 Pacific Ave to determine some of the following.

  • Determine VOTING League Members 
  • League Rules
  • League Structure
  • League Timelines
  • Game Locations
  • Financial
  • Other items

For more information, visit the Manitoba Basketball League website.

Train Ugly Basketball School Summer Camps for Ages 13-18 August 24-28

SESSION 3 IS SOLD OUT - SPACE GOING FAST! Basketball Manitoba is pleased to announce a special summer basketball camp experience for Manitoba players ages 10-18 this August with the Train Ugly Basketball Camps & High Performance Basketball Camps.

ALL SUMMER FRI & SAT NIGHTS: Winnipeg Team Mayhem Announces “Night Hoops” Midnight Basketball Program for Summer 2015

ALL SUMMER FRI & SAT NIGHTS: The Winnipeg Mayhem Basketball Club has announced they will be hosting a new pilot program this summer called 'Night Hoops'. As there is a huge need for a healthy active choice for young men and women to have something to do in the late hours of Fridays and Saturdays, the Team Mayhem Basketball Club is offering a basketball drop-in program on the weekends starting Friday July 3, 2015.

Here is all the information you might need, and anyone in and out of Winnipeg is invited to come out:

  • Friday and Saturday evenings from 11 pm – 3 am.  Winakwa C.C. – 980 Winakwa Rd.
  • Please note that a participant may arrive and leave at anytime they wish.
  • Starting Friday July 3 – Saturday August 29, 2015 (If the program goes well, we will be continuing it over the winter, and possible make it run all year long)
  • Registration form will need to be filled out and will be effective for the whole summer, and possibly year (until July 3, 2016)
  • Open to Young Women and Men ages 16 – 22 years of age. 
  • 15 year olds may attend but must be accompanied by a parent, or Legal Guardian during the entire time the participant is in the facility. 
  • $2 For anyone 18 and under as of July 3, 2015. (This fee will stop if at anytime we raise enough to cover program expenses trough sponsorship or entrance fee)
  • $ 5 per night for anyone 19 or over as of July 4, 2015
  • A photo I.D. will need to be shown to Mayhem Staff each and every time participants enters the facility. There will be no exceptions! (Either a School card or Driver’s license)
  • Once a participant enters the facility for the evening, and then if they leave the premises for any reasons, they will not be allowed back that same evening. 
  • Players will be responsible for either shooting around, or participating in: 1 on 1 ,    2 on 2,   3 on 3,    4 on 4,    5 on 5  play.
  • Team Mayhem Staff will organize games,  call fouls, or  set up teams if asked to, or if a need is deemed necessary. 
  • We would like to limit the number of participants to 40 per any one time of the evening. Priority will come to any participants that pre- register for that evening.
  • Example: If a participant emails, calls, or texts on the Monday before (or anytime) and confirms they will be attending the drop in on lets say the following Saturday, then if on said Saturday we go past the 40 participants and have to restrict players for playing in the gym, then priority will go to whomever contacts us earlier to reserve a spot. 
  • A strict enforcement of rules will apply. Any abuse of the rules deemed serious enough to ask a participant to leave the premises will cause said participant to not be allowed to return for a specified length of time. The Director of Team Mayhem will decide upon this period of time. 
  • Anyone Under 18 (Any participant as well) that does not arrive in their own car, or as part of a car pool must have a ride confirmed for when they leave the premises.  The name and phone number of the person picking up the participant is required to be given to the Team Mayhem Staff. We will then call the person to confirm the ride situation. 
  • Please feel free to contact Alex Barra at alexbarra@hotmail.ca , call or text  at 204-295-2006, if you have any questions, or wish to reserve any spots.

JOIN US EVERY SATURDAY ALL SUMMER: SWISH Outdoor Basketball Drop In Centre Coming to Winnipeg This Summer

JOIN US EVERY SATURDAY ALL SUMMER: Basketball Manitoba is pleased to support year 4 of the SWISH outdoor basketball program, coming to Winnipeg's core this July & August! Through a partnership between several faculties/units of the University of Manitoba and other community partners, a free outdoor drop-in basketball program will once again be taking place this summer at the University of Manitoba Bannatyne Campus located at the Health Sciences Centre.

WMBA 3on3 Summer League Returns for Summer 2015; Register Now

The Winnipeg Minor Basketball Association has announce it will be offering the 3rd year of its outdoor 3on3 summer basketball for players ages 15 and up.  The league will begin July 28 and run through August at one of six outdoor courts built by the association in the recent years.  Full details include...

LEAGUE STARTS SOON - ROOM FOR 2 TEAMS: InterAthletic Sports League Winnipeg Hosting Outdoor Men's Summer League in 2015

ADDITIONAL CO-ED LEAGUE OPTION AVAILABLE: The InterAthletic Sports League of Winnipeg has announced that they will be hosting an outdoor 5 on 5 full court outdoor summer league this June through August.  Each team guaranteed one game each week with games played Tuesday or Thursday evenings weather permitting.  Games will be played at new outdoor court at Stanley Knowles School, 2424 King Edward St.

All teams who register in this summer's league will receive a full set of reversible basketball jerseys courtesy of Eastern Dodge Chrysler!

Interested Men's teams (ages 18+) can contact Ryan to register or for more information...



Manitoba Magic Announce Tryouts for 2015-16 Season for Players Born 2002 to 2006

The Manitoba Magic Basketball Club have announced details on its upcoming basketball tryouts for the 2015-16 season.  The program will offer teams for boys and girls born 2002 to 2006.  Full details are...

SPACE FILLING UP - REGISTER NOW: Heart and Hustle Summer Basketball Camps Set for Boys Ages 10-15

SPACE FILLING UP - REGISTER NOW: The Heart and Hustle Summer Basketball Camps have been announced for boys ages 10-15.  The Heart and Hustle camps focus on the importance of developing the whole player and fundamental basketball skills as well as teaching about what it takes to be a top level basketball player.

Linden Christian's Andrew Davison Commits to CMU Blazers for 2015-16 Season

The CMU Men's Basketball Team is very happy to announce the commitment of Linden Christian's Andrew Davison for the 2015-16 season. The 6'1 guard led his Wings to the Zone 12 Championship on way to the the 2015 MHSAA 'AAA' Boys Provincial Championships that Linden Christian won last March.

PHOTOS: View 85+ Manitoba Provincial Team Program Player Profiles

Basketball Manitoba is pleased to release its new Manitoba Provincial Team Program Player Profiles, highlighting each one of the team members currently representing the province this summer.  The profiles are grouped by team and include all roster and practice players and provide more information on their basketball history and ambitions.  See the full collection at...

New Mid West Basketball League for 18+ Men Announced

The Manitoba Drive Basketball Club have announced details on their new basketball league for male players ages 18 and up (with no age maximum) that will be sanctioned by Basketball Manitoba.  For many players, once they graduate from high school in Manitoba, if they were not picked up by a College or University program, many see their competitive playing career come to an end.  The Mid West Basketball League will allow the opportunity for these athletes to continue their development and the MWBL is currently identifying players & coaches for its program.

Winnipeg Team Mayhem Announce 2015-16 Tryouts for Boys & Girls Grades 4-12

The Winnipeg Team Mayhem Basketball Club have announced details on its tryouts for the 2015-16 season.  Tryouts will be held at Winakwa Community Centre, 980 Winakwa Rd and the fee to attend the tryouts is $35.  Teams will be picked on Saturday August 8, 2015. A second time slot on Sunday August 9 is available if the numbers are such that a second day is needed.

Ndinawe Hosting Free 3on3 Basketball Tournament for Ages 13-24 on July 25 at North Centennial Centre

The Ndiniawe community resource centre has announced they will be offering a FREE 3on3 basketball tournament on Saturday July 25 at the North Centennial Centre in Winnipeg.  The tournament is open to males and females ages 13-24 and features a barbecue and prizes.  Full details include...

Contact Crystal for more information:

Visit 472 Selkirk Ave.
Call (204) 589-5545
Email crystal@ndinawe.ca
or visit North End Basketball Facebook page for more information and updates



Source: http://www.ndinawe.ca/bballsignup.html

SPACE FILLING UP: Lindenwoods CC Hosting Attack Mode Summer Basketball Camps for Boys & Girls Born 2001-2006

Camps start in less than a month, spots still open; REGISTER TODAY: Lindenwoods Community Centre in Winnipeg has announced it will be hosting a series of Attack Mode Basketball Camps this summer at the club located at 414 Lindenwoods Drive West.  The camps are open to boys and girls born in 2001 to 2006 and will run August 3-14.  Full details include...

SPACE FILLING UP: Rady JCC Hosting Attack Mode Summer Basketball Camps for Ages 12-15 This August

Camps start in less than a month, spots still open, REGISTER TODAY: The Rady JCC in Winnipeg has announced it will be hosting a series of Attack Mode Basketball Camps this summer at the centre located at 123 Doncaster Street.  The camps are open to boys and girls ages 12-15 and will run August 4-28.  Full details include...



THANK YOU VOLUNTEERS! Hoop It Up Winnipeg 2015 Event Wraps Up

VIEW PICTURES & VIDEOS: Basketball Manitoba and Hoop It Up would like to thank the 83 teams that took part in this last weekend's 3x3 event at the University of Manitoba!  The weekend featured a total of 211 games played in 10 different categories.  The full results of the games and division champions can be found on the official event website at...

Basketball Coach Charlie Carlos Winner of Canada Basketball Game Plan Website Contest

Basketball Manitoba and Canada Basketball are pleased to announce that Winnipeg basketball coach Charlie Carlos has been randomly selected at the winner of the Game Plan website award!  Charlie was chosen from the over 100 Manitoba coaches who signed up for the new Canada Basketball coaching website called the Game Pan.  The Game Plan is becoming a one stop shop for Canadian basketball coaches to gain access to a growing collection of development, education and communication resources. All coaches had an opportunity to sign up for free prior to May 31 if they had taken an NCCP clinic in the past.   The free registration has now passed and access to the website will cost $50 for a five year membership.

As the contest prize winner, Charlie receives...

  • 1 FREE 2-day registration to the 2015 Basketball Manitoba Super Coaches Clinic ($115 value)
  • 2 new Wilson Evolution Basketballs ($100 value)
  • 1 Canada Basketball Dry-Fit T-shirt ($40 value)
  • 1 Fox40 magnetic dry-erase coaching portfolio, marker & whistle ($40 value)
  • 50 FIBA Scoresheets ($24 value)
  • 10 training cones ($10 value)
  • TOTAL $329 value!

Charlie Carlos (left) with Canada Basketball's Ron Yeung





5 Thoughts That Will Change Your Youth Sports Experience for the Better

Coach and young player
In order to maximize the experience of youth participating in sport, it is important for coaches and parents to observe their environment and consistently reflect on the different characteristics that may have an impact on the enjoyment/development of those participating. As youth sport continues to evolve, parents and coaches must be prepared to evolve as well. In this article, John O’Sullivan does an excellent job explaining why it is important to understand how youth sport is changing and offers sounds advice on how we can improve the experience of the youth taking part!

By: John O’Sullivan

As I reflect upon many of the conversations I have had over the years as a coach and club director, most of them in one way or another ask the simple question “How do I balance sports and life?” In other words, how do I juggle these five balls. This is especially true when it comes to balancing the needs of your young athletes with the needs of your family, your work, and your other relationships.

It is easy to get caught up in the hoopla, the massive commitments, and the mythology that surrounds youth sports. When we do, we lose sight of the things that really matter. We lose sight of the fact that our athletes can be irrevocably damaged by our actions and words as parents and coaches, however well-intentioned those actions and words may be.

To damage or destroy your relationship with a child over the result of a game, or the choice of sport or team, may be the worst mistake one can ever make. Yet it happens all the time.
So, as we step into a new year, here are a few thoughts that will keep you grounded, keep your priorities straight, and help to keep all those balls you are juggling in the air:
  1. Raising a child, whether they are an athlete or not, is akin to designing and building your child’s long-term infrastructure, as if you were building a house. If you are only building for the short term, you are not worried about things like the foundation, wall strength, or ceiling beams—only first impressions and curb appeal. But if you are building it to last for seventy years, you want a sturdy foundation, strong walls, and a well-built roof. We need to think of parenthood in the same way.
  1. If we are building a solid emotional and moral foundation for our children, we must think long-term. We must think beyond single games or three-month seasons. Focusing on winning and short term success prior to high school is curb appeal; proper athletic and personal development creates both an athlete and a person built to last. When we think about the long haul, we realize that the purpose of youth sports is not only to develop better athletes but better people. Sports help children build the foundation for becoming a quality adult both on and off the field. Children form their self-image through what they hear said to them and about them. We need to make sure the messages they receive enhance one of the values above, or other values that are important. We need to make sure they are in an environment where these things are not only taught but exemplified by the coaches, the teachers, and the adults charged with educating them.

3. According to the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Ethical Education, research shows that kids play sports for the following reasons:
  • To have fun (always #1)
  • To do something I am good at
  • To improve my skills
  • To get exercise and stay in shape
  • To be part of a team
  • The excitement of competition
They do not play to win. They like to win, they enjoy competing, but they do not play to win. They play to have fun, to be with their friends, to feel good about themselves, and because it is exciting. Yet how often do we pick and choose our kids’ sports team because it is the winning team, the winning coach, the defending champion, and assume that because of all the wins everything else just happens? We look at wins and losses and fail to search for happy faces and proper developmental environments.
  1. The sad statistics indicate that while only 3-5 percent of high school athletes even play in college, an even smaller number receive athletic financial aid. About one in one thousand high school athletes receives a college scholarship (most of them only partial), and about one in thirteen thousand ever becomes a professional. Unfortunately, even in the face of those numbers, between 30-50 percent of youth sports parents believe their child is good enough to get a scholarship. This reality distortion is one of the effects of a youth sports culture that promises the latest bat, the newest shoe, or the most elite camp will have college coaches knocking down your door with a big check in hand.
  1. At some point you need to decide what side you are on. Are you about doing what is best for your kids, or promoting the status quo? If we are going to move the bar and change the culture of youth sports, we must not be naïve about the challenges we are facing, both on and off the field. The status quo is well funded, entrenched, and has convinced many parents to accept the new reality of youth sports. Their products may be fantastic and give great value to players and families. The products are not the problem, nor are the people behind them. It is the culture in general, and we all bear some responsibility for that unless we do something to change it.
I certainly do not sit here and say I know better than you what is best for your son or daughter. I do not claim to know how to coach your team better than you do.

I do know that three out of four kids are quitting sports by middle school. I do know that most of them say they quit because adult values, such as the emphasis on winning, lack of playing time, and excessive criticism and yelling, have taken the fun out of sports.

I also know that most adults have only the best of intentions when it comes to raising young athletes. We want them to succeed, we want them to perform their best, and we want them to have fun.

Unfortunately, what happens in most youth sports organizations on a daily basis does not lead to this. It leads to dropout and disenchantment. It leads to the ‘family’ ball being dropped, and children’s self esteem and relationships being damaged and destroyed. This is what must change.

In the year ahead, keep these five foundational thoughts in mind. Think long term and build a solid infrastructure. Use sports to develop better players and better people. Ask your kids why they play, and make sure sports has that in abundance. Forget about a financial return on your investment, and make sure the return is a high quality individual with core values that will last a lifetime.

And last, but not least, choose a side. If you believe that youth sports exists to serve the kids, then take a stand, and pass good information on. Demand a sports environment based upon the best science, psychology, and research. Find coaches who understand kids, and are not serving their own egos first. Educate yourself, and pass that information onto other parents. Ask your clubs and schools to provide parent education so that you may help your athlete, instead of being shut out of the process.

No one person can change the culture of youth sports in our country. But many individuals committed to serving their own children, and changing the game in their own community, certainly can.

As the great environmentalist Carl Safina writes “But one does not wait for a revolution. One becomes it.”

Let’s make 2015 the year of the youth sports revolution!

Source: Steve Nash Youth Basketball Blog http://ift.tt/1R2h1qg


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