March 8, 2018 • From the BenchWinning Hoops

Setting expectations on and off the court

by Mike Durbin, contributing writer

The accomplishments of your players on the basketball court only represent half the battle. Part of a coach’s job is to help players develop character and prepare them for adult life.

Here is a list of 10 expectations that you can give each of your players that will hopefully prepare them for everyday life on and off the court.

1. Take an active role in your classes.

Sit up front in the classroom and participate in your education. Your academic priorities should be paramount for you, your parents and all your coaches. We build our basketball program around individuals who want to be successful in the classroom.

2. Develop people skills.

There’s no such thing as over-communicating. Always be positive and encourage others. Our team often has one of the most vocal and supportive benches of anyone we play — and it makes a difference. If you have a problem or a conflict, please talk to someone about it. Players who are able to communicate with coaches and teammates play an important role on this team.

3. Team chemistry is vital to success.

If you are a part of our team, you will have a role. Our team shares the ball on offense, and we are equally unselfish on defense. Check your ego at the door.

4. Set goals and work to achieve them.

Goal setting is a life-long necessity. Individual and team goals are a major part of our basketball program. Focus on being the best.

5. Success is not a part-time job.

Continuously work at your game and physical conditioning. Never take your position for granted. Improve your skills to help the team improve. Be dedicated and loyal — to yourself, your coaches and your teammates.

6. Strive to learn.

Never pass up an opportunity to learn. When you quit learning, you’ve quit. Pick the brains of your teammates. Ask questions. Watch basketball games on TV, watch your teammates play, watch game tape, and learn from all of these experiences.

7. Keep the competitive fires burning.

Never back down from a challenge. Compete in the classroom, with your opponents and with — not against — your teammates. More importantly, compete with yourself. You may not win every time, but you can be successful if you compete and aggressively go after each challenge.

8. Absolutely no trash-talking.

Let the final score speak for itself. Also, understand that players play and officials officiate. Make sure your program is looked upon as a first-class team.

9. Develop friendships.

Whether you play basketball one year or four years, you’ll make lifetime friends. If you want to have more friends, be better friends to more people.

10. Develop balance in your life.

Basketball will only be a small segment of your total development as an individual. Get involved in other activities such as student government, campus ministry, clubs, or one of the many other opportunities in school and in the community.

Mike Durbin is the women’s basketball coach at the College of Saint Benedict in Minnesota.