Every coach that I speak to about basketball and coaching always comes back to the same principles. While we geek out about basketball concepts, plays and drills, at the end of the day it’s about teaching our players life skills and good morals that help them lead enriched lives.

It is not a teaching point but a consistency in a daily basis of communicating these values, setting the right expectations and treating players and others with respect at every opportunity. We have a variety of ways that we instill this in our routines from the pyramid of success, team touches and treating everyone that touches our program with respect.

And one of our concepts is the Power of a Thank You.

The Power of the Thank You

Every year we aim to be the best away team that plays our opponent every year. And that is not only on the court but it’s off the court before and after the game from coaches to players to our fans. We strive for our opposing coaches and players to hold Saugus basketball as a program of quality individuals not just players. We want to be the best away team in terms of character, sportsmanship and effort every time we step on the bus, the gym or the court.

This manifests itself in various ways throughout the season.

Pyramid of Success

Mark will have more on this at some point on the blog but the Pyramid of Success is a way for us to have players give appreciation for their teammates after every practice. Taken from John Wooden it’s a set of principles that we value in our team, players and coaches, none of which are specific to basketball. After each practice each coach recognizes a player for a pyramid pillar for that practice and then each player recognized nominates a teammate for that practice.

The true power of the Pyramid of Success is that the players do the best recognition throughout the season. It’s become a core component of appreciation for our players to their teammates and has helped foster team unity during the season.

Thank Your Refs…and the Scoring Table

After every basketball game, there is always a line to shake hands with the opposing teams and the refs. One thing we ask our team to do is to thank everyone involved with the game. That means the scoring table, the managers, the game leader and the janitors. All of these people take time out of their days to help put on these games and we want to make sure they are appreciated.

Team Touches

You’ve probably read the study but there is evidence that shows that the more players touch one another on the basketball court (high fives, etc.) the more success you have. We encourage our players to do this at the free throw line, on loose ball timeouts and whenever appropriate on a basketball court. We really stressed this season so we’re still not great here but it’s improving.

Notes Throughout the Season

This is an area that Mark does extremely well during the season. He often writes players thank you notes during the season of appreciation of their hard work over the course of the year. This helps to get past arguments during a long season and is really just natural extension of Mark and is genuine to the relationships he builds with his players.

Every year, we also buy books for each graduating senior in our program and write notes in the books before senior night. It’s a way for us to show appreciation for these players and their character that has helped the team and us as coaches grow.

This is an area where we lead by example and encourage all our players to do this as well with their parents, teachers, friends, etc.

Never a Bad Time to Send a Thank You Note

I truly believe setting up an environment that fosters appreciation and showing it often to your teammates, coaches, parents and other advocates in your program is integral to success within your program. Not only in the individual seasons and wins and losses but in helping to develop players with character that will help them thrive in whatever their next pursuit is.

We’ve been lucky to have high character individuals come through our program that have embraced these concepts and do this naturally especially recently. It take patience, consistency and most importantly building trust with your players for this to work.

What do you to build encouragement into your season plans?



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