Basketball is a team sport, which means kids have to form bonds with their teammates in order to work well together. While it’s possible to foster this in practices and on the court, true bonding happens when kids get off the court and have time to be themselves with each other, without the pressures of the game. As a coach, helping your players find the time to spend together might not seem important but when it comes down to it, this really is the best way to help your team succeed in all areas.

Ways to team build off the court

There are many different ways to help your team grow and strengthen – both as a strong team and as a strong individuals. Here’s some great suggestions:

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Foster friendships off the court

Encouraging your team to create friendships off the court is the best way for them to build a stronger sense of team loyalty on the court as well. Going to movies, having team BBQs, going for hikes and participating in other fun non-basketball-centered activities are great ways for players to bond with their teammates. Strong teams are built through friendships, so fostering that growth is the way to create the positive attitude and loyalty needed to succeed both on and off the court.

Schedule time to do things as a team

Getting together as a team shouldn’t be restricted to only practices and games. Taking the time to join together for team meals or activities helps players to build chemistry off the court as well as on. It’s also a great opportunity for coaches to get to know their players so they can help them succeed in the ways that matter the most to them.

Community outreach is another great way for teams to work with each other towards a common goal. Activities like trash pick up, reading to young children or spending time in a seniors’ residence allow players to look beyond the court and build bonds that can’t be measured.

Focus on team goals rather than individual ones

Teaching players that you are more inclined to recognize and reward team performances than individual ones help teach them to value the efforts of everyone involved. This encourages teammates to work together towards a common goal, rather than each player thinking more about the personal goals they are trying to reach.

Build a good team

When you cultivate your team to become one that works well together both on and off the court, you get to know what kind of players work best with the team. When recruiting new players, it’s important to know what you’re looking for from the potential players, both on the court and on the team. Recognizing the characteristics that work well on your team will help you to recruit the right players that will continue to grow your team.

Build winning basketball teams through friendships

Helping your players build friendships with their teammates will allow them to grow a sense of loyalty among themselves that will be apparent both on the court and off. When bonds are formed players are more likely to work together, encourage each other, and take pride in the group efforts of the team. Shared friendships translate to common goals, increased loyalty and team chemistry, which naturally means a more successful team.