What do you do when players don’t get along?

When you jump back into basketball planning again, one of the first things to do this offseason is consider how to improve strained relationships for next season.

You know when players don’t get along. You don’t need everyone to be best friends, but if you noticed a divisive atmosphere in your locker room, and you know the players involved are returning next season, it’s in your best interest to start mending those fences now.

Brian Baxter, MA in Sports Psychology and the director of Sports Institute Northwest in Portland, Oregon, says to jump on problem situations early.

“It’s never too early to facilitate teamwork. Leadership, communication and listening…these are skills that can be strengthened over time, just like any of the physical or technical skills you teach.” A specific way to teach this is to go to an off-site ropes course where players must work together to navigate the obstacles. If possible, have a sports psychologist visit with the team afterward to discuss the event and how it pertains to the basketball court.

Don’t waste time offseason time hoping problems correct themselves. Be proactive about it and get ahead for next season.