Motivation Series Continues

Motivation Series Continues: More Strategies to MOTIVATE Players and Coaches

 I got a lot of great feedback from our “Lack of Motivation is a Pandemic too” blog. I want to follow up with something that has really driven and motivated me. I am sure other Coaches can attest too and it has the potential to re-energize and rejuvenate your program.

The basketball skills training and Coaching industry has become “entertainment based” and is lacking in holistic content. It’s more and more about being “cool” with kids instead of being correct with kids.  It’s a lot of times JUST about basketball and not about improving their LIFE beyond basketball. The question we should ask ourselves is: 

  • are we impacting their hearts and heads?  
  • Are we growing them, challenging them, pushing them, and putting them in a position where they are competing and completing  up to their potential? 

This is why motivation behavior strategies must be addressed….a lot.

As Coaches we are always looking for ways to get that edge personally as well as with our players or clients. To be great at anything you must bring your energy, effort and correct decision making every single day. However, it can become boring, mundane and downright monotonous. Most young players get “stuck”, comfortable and go through the motions during a season or long off season. They lose their edge and ability to really get better and reach their potential. This is why you HAVE TO implement motivational/inspirational “think time” into your weekly routines.

Below are just a few examples of things you can do with your team and players (clients, if you are a skill trainer).

One of the two biggest energy killers is:

1.The kryptonite: Ungratefulness – a lack of appreciation for what you have 

2) Laziness: not using the sheer physical, mental, and emotional power you have in your heart and head EVERY SINGLE DAY

3) Lack of Compassion: many times Coaches and players are so self absorbed that they think that they “ARE” the game and that the world serves and even revolves around them.

The Outreach:

Take your players to visit and interact:

1) at a special Olympic event

2) a Children’s hospital

3) a prison ward

4) an elementary school to read to students

5) help teach an elementary school field day Class (PE)

6) be a big brother or big sister at a local club

7) run a 5K as a team for cancer or suicide victims and families


The after effects of the above experiences are INSTANT.

1) It develops GRATITUDE for life. Some things in life that happen to us is the result of bad luck, uncommon genes, racial or economic inequality. When your team participates in these activities, gratitude grows inside.

2) It helps you to INVEST into something bigger than yourself. It empowers you to become a SERVANT LEADER. It shows your players how to use basketball to impact their community in a positive way.

3) It develops SELF AWARENESS. You wake up and become self aware of life beyond basketball and how blessed your lives really are. It educates you on others lives, what they have to go through and how you can help.

4)  It’s a great way to develop COMPASSION and EMPATHY for others. To develop a heart to live a lifestyle of servant hood to people less fortunate or who have been unjustly and wrongly affected.

5)  It MOTIVATES and ENERGIZES you internally, to see the power and grit of others who deal with adversity and pain.

6) It ENCOURAGES you to see and feel the POSITIVE spirit that they display even through their tough circumstances.

7) It gives you a WHOLE different PERSPECTIVE  on your personal responsibilities. I mean let’s face it, life is tough,  but we all get to play or coach a GAME. It’s something we would do for free, do anyway, and something that most of us have been involved with since we were in elementary school. What do we have to complain about? Why can’t we be the BEST version of ourselves everyday, for a few hours on the Court, in the film room, or in the locker room? Are you kidding me?

8) It helps your players develop VISION for their calling. It fuels a players PURPOSE that they did not know they had.  It can also eliminate a player’s purpose that they thought they wanted to do.

9) It SUPPORTS the issues and struggles your players may be going through. I am sure your players have dealt with cancer or suicide at some point in their life with someone they know. A fundraising event to support these two causes can surely bring your players and team CLOSER TOGETHER. It can even promote some HEALING. 


Motivation Series - People in wheelchairs playing basketball on an outdoor court

I have done all the above in the last 20 years, but my favorite event was working out players with physical disabilities. I had the privilege of working with the wheelchair basketball team. They fired me up! The passion, focus and lack of excuses really INSPIRED ME. It maked me realize that God has given me two arms, two legs, and a wonderful chance to USE them for good. WHY DON’T I?  The mental toughness and positive spirit of these players are incredible. When I look back on my experiences with Club teams and even National Wheelchair Players, I get so fired up and grateful for what I have. There is NO ROOM for mediocrity and excuses to creep in. So whether you Coach a team or train kids for a living these activities and values are priceless!

Add them to your toolbox and Keep Getting After It!

Ganon Baker sitting on a chair with a basketball and speaking to a wheelchair basketball team
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