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How to be a Good Basketball Teammate

How to be a Good Basketball Teammate

How to be a Good Basketball Teammate

The game of basketball is inherently a team sport.  And, in order to succeed and win, you will need to trust your teammates and have them trust you.  However, in order to build this trust, you will have to be a good teammate and play in a cohesive and unselfish manner.

Below, we’re going to discuss how to be a good basketball teammate and look at how being a good basketball teammate can help your team on the court win the game.

NBA legend and great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar once said, “One man can be a crucial ingredient to a team, but one man cannot make a team.”  These words hold true for both a pickup game as well as a regulation one.  While you, individually, may be a great player, you cannot do it all on your own on the court.

Basketball is, inherently, a team sport.  And, as such, requires the cooperation of teammates and players to succeed.  One player’s weakness in shooting may be overcome by their rebounding abilities.  And, similarly, a player’s weakness with dribbling can be compensated by their pick-and-roll abilities.

Why It’s Important to be a Good Basketball Teammate?

Being a good teammate on the basketball court, whether in a pickup game or a regulation one, will not only help you to win more games but will also help you to garner the respect of your teammates. 

Let’s admit it, no one really likes a poor teammate and one who hogs the ball and tries to play offense on their own.

And, in addition to garnering the respect of your teammate, being a good basketball teammate will help you to play a more efficient system of basketball.  As basketball is a team sport, it necessitates the need to look for the open player, to make the extra pass, and to assist on defense where a weakness exists.

Lastly, being a good basketball teammate helps you, and your teammates, avoid fatigue and exhaustion on the court.  By sharing the ball and playing cohesively, you are able to lean on your teammates on both offense and defense to play better overall.

Be Accountable

One of the best ways to be a good teammate during a basketball game is to be accountable.  While no one likes admitting their mistakes or faults, doing so is a great way to show your teammates that you understand your mistakes and are attempting to learn from them.

Have a Good Attitude

No matter what happens on the court, you should have and maintain a good attitude throughout.  This means being both optimistic and playing hard on both offense and defense.  In addition, having a good attitude should help you to focus on both the game at hand and your overall gaming abilities.

Having a good attitude is also contagious.  If you are down, frustrated, or upset, then your team will feel those emotions and mimic them.  However, if you continue to hustle and maintain a good, can-do attitude, then so too will your teammates.

Having a good attitude not only includes during game time, but also during practices. Be sure to always have a good attitude with your teammates and with those you play with.

Compliment Your Teammates

Nearly everyone likes to be complimented and this is especially true on the basketball court.  If your teammate in a game makes a particularly difficult basket or stops a fast break with their superior defense, be sure to compliment them and let them know.

Not only is complimenting your teammate a great way to acknowledge a particularly good play, but it is also a confidence booster and can help your teammate continue to play good, proficient basketball.

Make the Extra Pass

As we stated above, no one likes a ball hog or a selfish player.  You should always look to make the extra pass to an open player or to a player with a hot hand.  This shows confidence in your teammates and also helps to breakdown the defense and preys on their inability to properly defend against a good passing team.

Help on Defense

While you don’t want to help on defense during each play, as that will leave your man open, you should assist on defense if you see a mismatch between your teammate and an opposing player.  Helping on defense will not only help you to win the game but it will also help your teammate against an imminent, and easy, bucket.

Hustle on Every Play

Another great way to be a good basketball teammate is to hustle on every play.  Hustling on every play not only helps to set the tone for you and your team, but also  helps to prove your willingness to play for the team and to play hard on each set.

In addition, by hustling on every play you will be more likely to be able to exploit certain defensive weaknesses and help to force ball turnovers.  This will give your team additional opportunities to score and win the game.

Listen to Criticism

Whether you are receiving criticism from your coach, an assistant coach, or a fellow teammate, take the criticism in stride and try to implement their advice into your game.  Rarely, if ever, do people give criticism for the sake of criticism.  Rather, they do so to help you with your own game and in your own abilities.

When it comes to receiving criticism and constructive advice, don’t get defensive or frustrated by the feedback.  Although it can be difficult to listen to criticism, doing so will help you to become a better basketball player and to become a better teammate.

Be a Family

Great basketball teams act as a family.  They train together, they practice together, they eat together, and they succeed and lose together.  If you want to be a great basketball teammate, then build a family unit with your teammates.

Celebrate in each other’s successes and be there for one-another in their losses.  Uplift one-another where you can and genuinely care for your teammates.  You will learn to trust one-another further on the court and will be able tp play a more cohesive form of basketball on the court.

Lead by Example

Lastly, if you are looking for ways to be a great basketball teammate, then you should lead by example.  Hustle on every play, make the extra pass, and help on defensive schemes.  Set the tone for yourself and your teammates through your own play.

Leading by example is also a great way to hold yourself accountable on the court.  You will be more confident and more in control in how you play and will be able to focus on the game at hand.  Playing unselfish, smart, focused basketball will also help you to be a better player overall.