Knowing and Accepting Team Roles – Part 1
Championship teams have players who not only accept these roles, but understand their significance and value to the team and they actually take pride in playing them. As Pat Riley says, “The key to teamwork is to learn a role, accept that role, and strive to become excellent playing it.”
Your goal as a coach is to have your players accept and embrace the role that they are given. When each player accepts his/her role and takes pride in playing it, your team will have its best chance of being successful. How do you get your players to understand and accept their roles?
ACCEPTING ROLES = DEFINING ROLES + APPRECIATING ROLES
A key aspect of role acceptance is helping to clearly define roles for each of the players. Role definition means that each player knows what is expected of him/her both on the court and off the court. It includes the responsibilities that they are expected to handle and fulfill. Let’s take the six-time NBA World Champion Chicago Bulls as an example. Steve Kerr/John Paxson basically had to find the opening and knock down the outside jumper. Dennis Rodman/Horace Grant had two responsibilities, rebound and defend. Ron Harper just had to play defense. It’s usually your superstars who have to take on additional roles (Jordan & Pippen). But the majority of the “role” players just need to play their role effectively and everything else takes care of itself. Each player should have one or two primary responsibilities that when executed successfully, propel the team toward its ultimate goal.
Editor’s Note: Special thanks to Jeff Janssen and Steve Horan of PositiveSports.net for the above article.