Who Is At Fault When A Player Doesn’t Reach Their Full Potential?

Who Is At Fault When A Player Doesn’t Reach Their Full Potential? Is it the coach or the player?

I’ve had a lot of experience working with thousands of coaches and players over the last 20 years in 48 countries.

Working with every type of personality and every age and level.

And had the privilege (and misfortune) to find myself in pretty much every situation you could ever imagine on the court or in the gym.

So, I can say with confidence I know how things work.

Here’s the thing you need to know as a coach (or parent of a player).

It’s well established that the human brain doesn’t fully mature until the age of 25.

Which means athletes aren’t in a position to make the best decisions for themselves when you’re coaching them.

And you have to remember this when you’re coaching kids, teens, college and – frankly – even some of the pros.

The problem is a lot of coaches don’t understand this key part of biology.

Why is this a problem?

It’s not a trendy concept to talk about for a start.

A lot of coaches can’t be bothered to take the time to learn non-basketball principles to enhance their game.

And it’s so much easier to focus on the achievements of teams or the move a kid just did.

Unfortunately, a lot of serious coaches like you who truly want to get the best out of your athletes miss concepts like this too.

If nobody is talking about, how can you be expected to know the subtleties of neuroscience and psychology to apply to your game?

Short answer is… You can’t.

Not unless you’re prepared to spend your time studying scientific papers.

Or reading textbooks

And watching lectures.

And in my opinion, I believe this is a major reason why a lot of coaches struggle with teaching flow and communication skills.


If you don’t understand how your athlete’s brain works on a fundamental level, it’s not possible to teach efficiently.


You try your best and your players just don’t get it.

You feel like you’re not getting through.

And you get frustrated when you’re not getting a buy in.

It’s also why players don’t work on their game, talented kids self-sabotage and why ego and selfishness can creep into a team.

I remember years back when I was working with a pro’s kid. He rushed me in the gym in front of everyone because I didn’t accept his attitude.

Reflecting back, I wouldn’t have allowed the situation to unfold the way it did. Because now I’m older I understand more how to apply strategies based on individual personalities in a way they’d respond to best.

Back to the point…

Is it the coach or player’s fault when an athlete doesn’t reach their full potential?

A lot of the time I believe it’s the coach’s responsibility because most of your players are still immature from a biological standpoint.

It’s, therefore, your duty to study the mental & emotional aspects so you can reach your players.

So you always feel confident in the way you coach and communicate.

Not only that, but you also understand when something doesn’t work that you just need to keep trying until something does work.

So you can design a framework for your team culture where, over time, everyone buys in.

How can you apply this?

It’s not an easy process and you have to be prepared to make mistakes along the way.

That’s life.

That’s reality.


Study all the great coaches, teachers and masters in any sport, field or area of life.

And what do they all have in common?

They put their emphasis on teaching the fundamentals.

Because fundamentals are proven and form the solid foundation of every winning program

If you want to communicate effectively so you get your message through to your players, I’d suggest starting with the fundamentals.

Because you know they’re proven… And that if one approach doesn’t work – It’s not you or your player’s fault – It just means your try another proven approach until it does work.

And in my opinion – this is the process a coach can follow to make sure each player reaches their full potential.

Want myself and The GBB Team to help you? Here’s how we can help coaches (and players) reach their full potential by focusing on teaching the fundamentals and proven basketball principles.

The Full Curriculum gives you all the tools you need to build an organized philosophy using proven basketball principles, and all the teaching points and drills to execute with your team. You can get in here 


Join the Master Certification group where we work together in a small group to get your basketball philosophy set up and I hold you accountable. Book a call with Mihai here


Come stay with me for a week in Florida where I’ll coach you intensively 1 on 1 for a week. More info here


Keep Getting After It


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