What does respect look like for a young player on a basketball team? Here are some ways that a young player can demonstrate respect as a member of a basketball team.
1. Take care of your body and mind. You should be in great physical condition so you can be at your best to help your team. Eat right, get enough sleep, and be in tremendous shape. Be a life-long learner. As John Wooden once said, “It’s what you learn after you know it all that really counts.”
2. Listen when others talk. You learn much more from listening than you do from talking. We have two ears and one mouth for a reason! You’ll gain the respect of coaches, teammates, friends, and family members when you really listen to what they have to say.
3. Share your true feelings and communicate with those around you. If your coach doesn’t know how you feel, they can’t help you work through an obstacle. Honest dialogue is how a relationship grows. The connections created through conversation bonds a team or family together and helps them overcome adversity when things get tough.
4. Support your teammates, coaches, friends, and family members. Do you go to your sibling’s games and support them whenever possible? Do you check up on a teammate when they are having a tough time in school? Do you volunteer when your friend’s family needs help? Do you ever ask your coach if there’s something you could do to make their life easier? Look for ways to support those around you each and every day.
5. Set a good example under all circumstances, good and bad. You never know who may be watching you. Do you make good choices even when you are alone or you might be able to get away with it? Teammates see what you do. It’s great to be a vocal leader, but what you DO means more than what you SAY!
6. Represent yourself, your team, and your family well everywhere you go. People always make judgements about you and those you are connected to based upon your behavior, appearance, and demeanor. Always remember that your actions reflect back on others besides yourself. Make good choices about how you conduct yourself in public AND behind closed doors in practice or in the locker room.
7. Take care of your belongings and the environments where you live, play, and go to school. Pick up after yourself. Don’t leave empty water bottles or garbage in the gym after practice or a game. It doesn’t take much effort to pick up, but it demonstrates that you care about others whose job it is to clean the gym after you’re gone. Always strive to leave a place better than it was before you arrived.
8. Ask as many questions as you can. First off, you are showing an interest in and respect for the person you are asking the question of. Secondly, the key to growth and improvement is asking the right questions. When we’re very young we ask questions almost continuously. Asking questions should remain a key component of growing, learning, and improving as a basketball player and a person. You never know what you’ll find out until you ask someone!
9. Be polite to everyone you come into contact with, both on and off the court. People will always be nicer to someone who is polite and kind. Your coach, parents, teachers, the clerk at the store, your waiter, almost anyone will be more likely to help you out if you are polite. Make sure you’re polite to everyone and not just those who are in position to help you in some way.
10. Honesty demonstrates respect. If your coach can trust you with small things they can trust you with big things. Be known as a teammate whose word is their bond. Trust is one of the most important components of any successful team. Honesty is the foundation upon which any strong relationship is built. These strong relationships are what great teams and families rely on when adversity hits and they have to fight through the tough times together.
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