Motivating your players is a key component of a coach’s job. Practice gets players ready for the physical aspect of basketball, but motivational words get players ready for the mental aspect, and help them form the right mindset in preparing for the upcoming season. Below are some meaningful basketball quotes to get you and your players focused on basketball and their role in the game and on the team.
“Morale and attitude are the fundamentals to success.” - Bud Wilkinson
As your players prepare to focus on success for the upcoming season, this quote serves as a reminder that basketball is a mental sport as well as physical. Emphasize that it takes both physical and mental stamina to assert maximum effort throughout an entire season. You know your players can succeed, but it’s important they realize the same about themselves and their team.
“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each individual member is the team” - Phil Jackson
You’re preparing for a new season, but with the new season comes a new team. Some established seniors have left the team. Some new team members offer a unique vision. While the members of any team fluctuate, the desire for unity is constant. Remember that everyone is playing for each member of the team, and not only for themselves. Stressing their role in a larger cause denotes a sense of purpose, and increases their commitment. Also, let members know that they have been chosen to play for the team for a reason, and that the team would be incomplete without them.
“First of all, what happens is, when you’re good at something, you spend a lot of time with it. People identify you with that sport, so it becomes part of your identity.” - Mike Krzyzewski
This quote strikes a chord, because it gets at a more personal component of basketball. A love of basketball is simultaneously a display of talent and a piece of one’s identity. While people understandably define themselves according to a range of interests and abilities, our passions and that which we focus our energies on certainly forms a part of our identity, often a very personal one. During the off-season, remind your players and yourself that thinking about basketball is a way for them to take pride in what they are good at and what they care about.
“Failure is good. It’s fertilizer. Everything I’ve learned about coaching, I’ve learned from making mistakes.” - Rick Pitino
Here’s a great quote reminding coaches and players alike that failure can set the tone for success just as much as achievements. During the off-season, players and coaches are looking for proof that their team can compete and that they function well as a unit. Building this confidence in the team raises morale. But it’s harder to acknowledge that everyone’s also experienced failure. You and your players shouldn’t be ashamed of this though. Remember that improvement starts with identifying that which needs to be improved, and that addressing and solving weaknesses is your way of making your team more indestructible.
“Doing the best you are capable of doing is victory in itself, and less than that is defeat” - John Wooden
One of the most valuable lessons you can teach your players is that motivation can’t purely be delivered from an outside source. Confidence comes from within, and once players train themselves to be in the mindset of delivering maximum effort, they put themselves in the best position for success. Defeat is a natural part of the sport, it is unreasonable to expect it never to occur, but it is reasonable to ask yourself and your players to give it their all. This determination applies whether they are winning big, losing big, or it’s a close game. It’s that fighting spirit that allows for maximum improvement going forward.
These quotes address the heart and spirit of basketball and get coaches and players motivated for the mental aspect of the game. Head into the season strong by inspiring your players before it even starts.
Like these basketball quotes? Then check out these quotes from some of the best coaches of all-time!