You can increase your players’ commitment to the team by providing each of them with an ownership stake. Ownership generates responsibility—a desirable trait to instill in any child. Ownership requires that the owner has some control over the item owned. Are you providing your players with an opportunity to take ownership?
One way to give players a sense of ownership is to provide opportunities for them to lead. This is easiest with your older, more skilled players. These players can lead their team through their performance. In addition, you should also encourage these individuals to see themselves as mentors to the beginners and less-skilled players. Ask them to represent you on the court or field of play, helping other players as required. Hopefully, they will reflect your style and provide constructive comments and guidance. By giving certain players leadership responsibility, you provide them with a strong vested interest in the team and its success.
Another way to increase your players’ sense of ownership is to involve them in some of your coaching decisions and responsibilities. For example, at the beginning of a game, you might ask players on the bench to determine the opposing team’s defense. Sometimes they may know players on the other team, and understand the opponent’s strengths and weaknesses better than you. Regularly ask your players their opinion on game situations and matchups. This approach helps keep everyone involved in the game, while also sending a message to your players that their input helps define your coaching strategies and tactics.