Topic 2 – Manage Behaviour

Manage Behaviour

Managing player behavior has many different factors including setting ground rules, behavior recognition, and maintaining interest.  It is important to manage player behavior to create a learning environment for the players themselves.  When behavior is managed properly players also learn positive values, such as respecting others.  Proper behavior management also teaches players how to maintain a certain image in public, teaching them how to be viewed as professional, friendly people.  

The first aspect of behavior management is setting ground rules, this must be done before the other aspects of behavior management can occur because ground rules define what is expected, and what is not allowed.  Ground rules would entail the values of the coach, and other aspects the coach believes would help his team maintain positive, professional, interested behavior.  An example of such values would be showing up early to practices, games etc., or greeting the refs before games start.  Other aspects that affect each coach’s ground rules would be their personal experiences, mentors, and personality.  Ground rules allow for the other aspects of behavior management to begin.

Another good aspect of behavior management would be instilling “we over me.”  Leo Papile, who has worked with NBA teams for many years, believes that it is important to focus on “we” now more than ever because the “me” attitude has become more prevalent in today’s basketball culture.  Focusing on “we” ensures that players realize their own actions represent the team as a whole, leading to players making more respectable decisions.  

Now that the ground rules have been set, behavior recognition is the next aspect of managing behavior.  Praising good behavior is a great way to encourage players to continue working at their skills, and attempt to use those skills in crucial game situations.  

Behavior is age dependent, thus changing how behavior is managed depending on the age of the players being coached.  Even though behavior is age dependent some aspects are constant across all ages.  For example, positive reinforcement needs to be used whether coaching in a youth league, or an NBA team.  Letting players know when they did something correctly, such as executing a pick and roll correctly, or an out-of-bounds play, gives them a confidence boost.  This confidence boost allows them to be successful later on when using that play in a game, it also allows them to try more advanced plays or moves.  

The final aspect of behavior management is maintaining interest.  In order to maintain interest on younger, or less competitive teams, more must be done than for an NBA team.  One way to maintain interest is to switch up the activities players participate in during practice.  No practice should be the same, bringing in new drills, competitions, and conditioning exercises will make practice more engaging.  Such diversity may not be necessary for higher level teams.  Players can also be stimulated by asking them questions. Asking questions forces players to think critically about the situation, and increases their understanding.  Even if players do not answer, asking the question will do more than simply showing them.  Similarly, giving them problems to solve will also stimulate them, making practice a creative and challenging space.  An example of this would be showing players a clip of film, and having them decide ways the offense or defense could have improved their performance throughout the play.

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