Does your team have a “Team” Mentality or are they just called a team because they all sit in the same locker room and wear the same color uniform?


Does your team have a “Team” Mentality or are they just called a team because they all sit in the same locker room and wear the same color uniform?  Sometimes we can get caught up on the outward appearance of our team and forget to address the inner appearance and mental health of our team.  Most coaches are pretty much on one accord that their team would benefit from mental training for their team to make them tougher, stronger or more competitive.  What if you accomplished this but they did not grow stronger together?  You can have strong individuals and no chemistry.

Below is a video published by KBJ Academy to help teams get started on defining their TEAM for the upcoming season.  A team will take on whatever identity you prepare for so be sure to start with giving your vision and then follow that up with defining goals.

Watch the video with your team to start the conversation on what this TEAM’s expectations will be for the season:




Below are some key ways to begin the process of building a TEAM mentality:

1. People have to be taught how to work with others.  If you look at children in general, they are born naturally selfish and thinking about themselves.  We all are naturally selfish! If you are ever around a group of children, you hear them say “mine” or “I don’t want to” a lot.  Trying to get them to share their toy is another story!  Children have to be taught to share and use their words to be nice to their friends or to think about someone else’s feelings.  If you watch them initially, they do it grudgingly.  So start with activities, drills or projects that require a partner, then a group of 3 and build from their.

2. Teach awareness. Watch film and teach in practices from the overall view point as much as possible.  It is the same on any job – coworkers must be taught to work together as well.  In fact – people in general would benefit from consistent and daily reminders of becoming more aware of others needs and how your actions can hurt or help someone else.  If one person is not doing their job, it could slow down progress for someone else or hurt the team from growing.

3. Define roles and expectations.  Make sure this is established before they accept the job or offer to be apart of your TEAM.  Put it in their contract if you can – what the expectations are so they know what they are getting themselves into.  This speeds up the process of BUY-IN and eliminates confusion.  Begin to speak words of success to penetrate their minds with positive expectations of each person and what a successful TEAM looks like to you.  Constructive criticism and correction is absolutely necessary but make sure to tell what you expect and how it should be.  Too many times, people spend so much time on WHAT NOT TO DO that they forget to say WHAT TO DO.

In essence, teaching a “TEAM” mentality takes time and depending on your group’s maturity level it could take a week, a month or a whole season to understand.  Some people learn by seeing, some by hearing, some by doing and some by failing.  If you can teach players to have a TEAM mentality then this will compensate for mistakes during games.  Start the conversation early and make sure it is often.  Make sure they get a vivid picture of what they are doing when they think no one is looking and hold them accountable.

screen-shot-2016-10-31-at-15-27-29Bio: Brenita Jackson has coached women’s college basketball for 8 years improving the culture at each school she worked for.  She started playing basketball at Cedar Hill High School in Texas,USA and went on to play professionally in Aarhus, Denmark.  She beganher coaching career while in Denmark leading the junior team to an undefeated season.  She currently holds a Master’s Degree in Coaching and Athletic Administration from Concordia University in Irvine, CA.
Brenita returned to her home Dallas, Texas to continue her passion for coaching young girls and inspiring others to develop and use their gifts.  She was recognized as 2011 Sportswoman of the Year by the Jacksonville Progress after winning the Region XIV Championship Runner Up Title along with developing the program’s first All American who’s jersey hung in the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, TN.  In 2015 Brenita was voted the Region XIV Coach of the Year for a turnaround performance going from 3 to 23 wins in just her second season as head coach.
During her 8 years of coaching college basketball, 6 of them were with her husband Kevin Jackson who was a huge key to her success as a head coach.  The two were recognized by the Houston Chronicle as “Couple a winning team on and off San Jac court.”  The Jackson’s are known in the basketball community as coaches who care about their players, set high standards and teach life skills through the game of basketball.  They founded a company called KBJ Academy where they travel to schools, churches and businesses to host team bonding retreats or leadership workshops. They also consult with coaches on changing the culture at a new school they just joined or consult with players on how to pursue playing college sports. They have experiences that they love to share with all transparency so others can learn, grow and succeed.

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