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Locker room talk - Part #3 (The OIL)

Trust... "the oil"

Before anybody picks up a basketball, an atmosphere of trust must be created with everyone involved on the team. Trust is the ethereal factor stopping a team of talented players from achieving complete success; as well as the factor making sub par teams overachieve.

Trust can be the reason players take ill-advised shots rather than making the extra pass; it drives what plays coaches call at certain points in the game; trust can determine the amount of playing time a player receives; and it can literally change the momentum of the game in an instant.

When players and coaches don’t trust each other, a team will never experience their full potential and will more than likely end their season on a disappointing note. BUT, when players and coaches trust each other, a strong sense of confidence and team identity will develop. When this happens, the sky is the limit of what you can achieve!

Trust is the “oil” lubricating the many parts of the team’s “engine”. Without the oil, the wrong type of sparks will fly and the team will literally come to a “grinding halt”.

How do you develop trust in the locker room???

I’m glad you asked *smile*. In my personal experience, the best way I’ve found to develop trust is through transparency; making yourself truly known to others.

We all naturally fear the unknown. When you don’t know the minds/hearts of your fellow players or the mind/heart of your coach, anxiety and unpredictability will cloud the locker room.

Similar to driving on a rainy night in heavy fog, players/coaches will act very cautiously around each other, and naturally assume that danger is around the corner.

The key to clearing the fog of the unknown is to be personally willing to let others know who you really are. Share your interests, goals and desires; as well as your weaknesses, dislikes and trepidations. Have a genuine interest to learn your teammates and the coach.

As you learn them, accept them and seek to find a unique connection with them. From here, you will begin to explore the many possibilities of how you will make each other better. Learning and considering the interests of others creates the building blocks of “practical trust”; allowing others to help you improve because you know they have your best interests in mind. Once practical trust is established, you will construct a marvelous season.

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