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Motivating the Team


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We've coached many kids basketball teams over the years and have found that the best way to keep all the kids motivated and happy throughout the season is through some simple incentive and recognition programs.  We have developed several inexpensive products tailor made for kids basketball incentive programs to encourage effort/hustle, off-season practice, and teamwork. See Our Store.  You won't find products or incentive programs like these on any other site or in any other store.

Some kids are naturally competitive and require no further motivation than the desire to img-7712.jpgwin.  In our experience, however, elementary school age basketball players benefit from simple recognition programs to keep them motivated.  Practice especially can be a difficult time to keep the players focused and working hard. Taking a page out of the play book of elementary school teachers, we have developed a simple motivational program to help the players stay focused and celebrate their individual and team successes.

Here are our suggestions for youth basketball awards.  You'll notice that we avoid awards that can cause jealousy and resentment among the players (such as most points, MVP, etc).  These are equal opportunity awards that any player can achieve if they work hard, try to learn and grow as a player, and bring their best game to the practices and games.  You may not to use all of these awards depending on the size of your team.  If you give too many awards for a team too small and it isn’t special to get one (instead, it becomes embarrassing to not get one).  Too few awards for too large a team makes receiving one seem too out of reach and not worth the effort.  We recommend that you award about 20% of the team members per practice and/or game. So for example, if you have 10 team members, give two awards for each practice and each game.  

Practice Awards: 

Game Awards: 

End-of-Season Awards:


Presenting the Awards:

  • Prepare some sort of token gift.  Some ideas:  small basketball themed items like pencils, notepads, tattoos, or certificates, ribbons (pictured right) beads for a necklace/lanyard, packs of gum or other candy.  Shop our store for several inexpensive ideas.
  • Present the awards in front of the whole team.  Ideally, it's best to give the award at the beginning of the next session (in other words, if you are giving awards from a game, hand out the award at the next practice).  This gives you an opportunity to prepare and to check your records for 'personal bests', etc.
  • Keep track of what players have received awards and for what reasons.  You will probably want to refer to it throughout the season.
  • Be sure every player is recognized for something during the season.  If you award for 'personal bests', that should be possible.


Motivational Quotes

Links to Team Motivation Articles and Write-ups:

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