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PSYCHOLOGICAL APPROACH TO THE PLAYERS

The coach should realizze that players learn by example and he should not expect anything from his players that he himself is not capable of giving in his leadership. He must live his philosophy of life, and inculcate leadership qualities and a winning attitude in his players.

Each hour, each day, each week during the season presents a new pgycgological problem. The coach must maintain a good team spirit as well as a team with good spirits. He should have his players on edge at all times. They should be up for each game. The coach must decide whether to use a psychological approach with the team in a pregame pep talk or whether such a talk would be more effective at half time. He must get the most from each of the players and he must be aware of the players who need the most understanding. He should also take psychological advantage of lineup changes. He should be casutious in his disciplinary measures and should be aware of team reactions to punitive action.

The coach must occasionally deal with unfortunate happenings during the year, and he should stay on top of any situation that might cause team friction. At the first sign of difficulty, the principals should be called in to talk it out. Any grievances can usually be settled if they are not allowed to fester.

The following are suggestions to the coach:

Hustling is one of the prime prerequisites for an aggressive team. Players should hustle from one place to another, hustle when called by a coach, and hustle entering and leaving the court. They should never sit or sprawl on a court if they are all listening to an explanation or watching a demonstration they could rest on one knee, with an arm on the other knee.

For preseason practice, a coach should never select a starting team. He should change personnel constantly: otherwise he will discourage reserves by making them feel unnecessary. By matching his best players against each other in the preseason, he increases their individual ability and effectiveness.

Interchanging personnel constantly gives potential starters the feeling of the reserves in competition, and conversely, it allows first-line reserves to coordinate their abilities to the better players during the development of basic offensive and defensive patterns in the preseason practices.

The late installation of a starting team makes preseason practice much more competitive and allows simulation of actual game conditions.

A coach’s criticism should always be constructive. A suggestion made to one player applies to all. Praise a player who makes an outstanding play or a suggestion and puts it into practice correctly. Whenever possible, emphasize the importance of the unglamorous defense and rebounding maneuvers that normally get little attention in the press.

A player should understand that criticism is like money - you should worry about the lack of it. The players a coach criticizes are usually the ones he uses. The players should realize that they should not blame others for their own shortcomings, and that they will learn most from their own mistakes. They should not run away from their problems, but face them and try to overcome them.

Imagination and visualization are two important elements not only in the coaching of the game, but in dealing with the players’ personalities. The coach should be able to project future situations off the court as well as on it. He should be able to make decisions on sound reasoning, judgment and imagination.

Injuries should be reported to the coach or the trainer immediately. No injury is so slight it can be completely ignored. Ignoring them sometimes sideline the player.


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