Team Commitment: Are You On The Team Or Into The Team?

At the end of each season, most of us are going to have to CHOOSE to be bitter or get better. And, at some point in our basketball careers, most coaches – and dedicated players for that matter – will struggle with team commitment. It’s natural.

Are you struggling with feelings of lack of commitment to your team? Or, having a tough time getting your basketball players to demonstrate the type of team commitment necessary for winning basketball?

Sometimes the solution starts with “revisiting your dream”. That was the advice I was given as an athlete when I questioned my team’s commitment to me; and, in turn, mine to the team. I had to go back and reconnect with my deepest desire; which was to change the trajectory of my school’s basketball program.

Other times, it’s about making a conscious decision to go all in, despite any assurance or guarantees that the outcome will go in your favour.


How Do You Know If You’re Really Committed To The Team?

There’s a story I came across recently which helps sum this up…

The mayor of a small town went and asked one of the local farmers, who was highly respected if he would join the town counsel.

The farmer thought it over and then asked the mayor if he would want him to be involved or to be committed to the counsel. The mayor asked what the difference would be. The farmer then explained: “It’s like a good bacon and egg breakfast. The chicken is involved but the pig, he’s committed.”

Which Are You? The Pig Or The Chicken?

There’s a difference between being “involved” and being “committed”. It’s a subtle difference, but there is a difference. It often only shows up as barely discernible actions (or inaction), but as the leader of your team, you need to pay close attention to the cues and conversations that take place around your team.

Watching a coaching friend of mine, TJ Rosene, in action recently, he challenged the basketball players he was working with saying:

Don’t just be in it, be into it. Don’t just be on the team, be into the team!

The thing that struck me in his comment was that winning coaches, championship coaches, are continually trying to “pull the greatness” of of their players. It’s starts with a commitment to the team. Beyond that, they’re demanding of both themselves and all within their program. They understand the importance of defining and continually protecting the team culture.


As a coach, are you all in? Are you fully committed to your team? What are you doing to develop a committed team?

As an athlete, are you just on the team or are you into the team?