Basketball and other sports create a microcosm for life. No, sports aren't only about hitting the field and playing the game. Participants learn great life lessons about striving to do your best and being willing to accept defeat. Great benefits, however, only come from a positive environment. If a basketball team's culture takes a toxic turn, no one benefits. Coaches must accept the responsibility of keeping the team's culture on the right path. Many good reasons exist as to why.
Team Performance Depends on It
Toxic training environments don't lead to exceptional performance on the gridiron. Team members who browbeat their mates for poor performance, ironically, contribute to worsening performance. Players won't hit peak levels when their confidence shatters. Mindset factors heavily into whether an athlete does his/her best. If the training environment undermineseffective sports psychology, don't look for great results on the field. Physical problems could ensue, too. Pushing players too hard forces a toll on their bodies. Playing too "banged up" gives the opposing team an undeserved edge. Coaches must keep training approaches in check. Don't lose control of the practice sessions to the detriment of the player's physical condition.
Bullying Can Develop in Plain Sight
It is a coach's responsibility to ensure the training environment remains free of mental and physical hazing. Bullying in team sports can have major consequences for the individuals involved, as well as the team as a whole. Sadly, the news does show examples where team bullying reached levels of criminal behavior. The players alone aren't responsible for bullying. Coaches, assistant coaches, and administrators play a role as well. Non-action is no different than tacitly approving bullying. And no matter how good a bullying teammate is, he/she has to go if the harmful behavior doesn't stop. Bullying drags everyone down.
Financial Losses Loom in Toxic Environments
Coaches who don't address toxic cultures often think they can keep a lid on things. One day, an incident occurs that leads to a lawsuit. The resultant bad publicity blows the lid off the toxicity. Now, the money losses begin to pile up. The losses may not only come from legal expenses. Sports teams rely on sponsorship and attendance for revenue. Once sponsors and fans quit patronizing a team, the team suffers a cash flow problem. Restoring trust and reputation won't be easy.
It’s important for coaches to keep an eye on team culture and make sure that the basketball experience doesn’t turn negative for the players. Basketball and other sports should reflect positive experiences for all involved. When things go in a different, toxic direction, coaches must show leadership and put a stop to any problems.
Another important part of being a coach is making sure you have the right equipment to train your players. Check out our selection of basketball coaching equipment!