“You have to create an environment where everybody feels good about themselves and what they can do.” – Chris Paul
Confidence is very fragile for many players – it goes up and down throughout the season. Your teammates’ confidence will not always be where it should be, so you will have to provide a great deal of encouragement and stability for the team.
You must develop a working relationship with each of your teammates. You need to invest the time to get to know each of them and know how to best communicate with them. You will naturally know some of your teammates because of similar interests, year in school, or past experiences. The people who you don’t hang out with are people you will have to make a conscious effort to get to know better.
“Almost everything in leadership comes back to relationships. The only way you can possibly lead is to understand your teammates. The best way to do that is to get to know them better.”
How to Create Confidence in Your Teammates:
1. Accentuate the Positive
• Acknowledge the success they display
• Acknowledge their effort
Leaders help their teammates feel good about themselves by acknowledging and emphasizing the positive.
“Great leaders inflate the people around them. Poor leaders deflate the people around them.” – Rick Pitino
2. Let them know what to expect
Many people lack confidence because they aren’t sure what to expect as they get into new situations. Your job is to ease their uncertainty and confusion. Let them know what to expect. (Example: Proviso West Tournament – speed and physicality of varsity, scouting reports, weight training/running program, etc.)
3. Remind them of their strengths
Strangely, teammates often forget about what they do best when the games roll around. It’s your job to remind them where they excel and to encourage them to use their strengths.
4. Remind them of past success
Reminding players of their past success provides teammates with examples of their ability to be successful. Help them feel like they can do it again because they have proven they can do it in the past.
5. Remind them of their preparation and hard work
• Remind them that they have paid the price of success through:
• Weights – Conditioning – Summer camps
• Open Gyms – “The Gun” – Practice
Convince them that they have worked just as hard, if not harder than their opponents. They should feel like they deserve to be successful because they have done more.
6. Show and tell teammates that you believe in them
Let your teammates know that you have confidence in them. Because your are taking an interest in them, they will be highly likely to listen and respond to you. Tell your teammates you believe in them by your words, body language, and actions. Sometimes you need to show more confidence than you actually feel.
“I’m one of the leaders on the team and I feel my attitude sets the tone. It’s my job to magnify my teammates’ strengths and to hide their weaknesses. I put people in position to do their thing.” – Jason Kidd
“You have to keep talking and encouraging them. I think you really have to get to know each player and how to get through to them.”
– Kobe Bryant