Creating Team Motivation and Unity – Dedication Games

Team Motivation-Dedication Games

There are tons of books on personal and team motivation.

You can find them by legendary coaches, marketing leaders, and business executives.

But, have you heard of dedication games to motivate your team?

Coach Bob Startkey talks about dedication games in his article Who’s Your 68?

During my tenure at LSU we had something each year we referred to as the “Dedication Game.” We would pick a game each year, usually late in the season, and have our team individually dedicate that game to someone. It was a very emotional event. We would sit in a circle in the locker room and each person in the circle would tell the team who they were dedicating the game to and more importantly why. Each answer was very unique and personal. Tears always flowed. Not only did we have a powerful motivational force for our next opponent but more importantly, we learned something deep about each member of our team. As we are doing this, we would pass a basketball around and you had toautograph the name of the individual that you were dedicating your effort to –also that night, you had to write a letter to that person explaining that you had selected them and why. As you can imagine, this was a special process to go through. Often the person would be deceased — yet the letter would be written. The autographed basketball went with us everywhere. If were on the road a player had to carry it. It went to pre-game meals, was center of the locker room floor for pre-game speeches and even had a seat on the bench with us. We always played with great emotion for those games.

5 Keys to Coaching Success According to Butler

What are the keys to coaching basketball successfully?

What should you focus on to have a successful team on and off the court?

At Butler, they have 5 keys they call “The Butler Way”

  • Humility
  • Passion
  • Unity
  • Servanthood
  • Thankfulness

But, you can’t just speak them, you have to lead by example!


Hinkle passed down his teachings to his coaching proteges and players throughout the years, the programs culture propagating into all aspects of the Butler community.

How to Balance Development and Fun in Coaching

Youth Basketball Coaching

We all want out kids to become the best basketball players they can be.

But, it can be difficult to figure out how to balance the teaching that needs to occur to make them better, with the fun they need to keep playing the game.

This little article has some tips to help you keep that balance.


Mix up your basketball drills on a regular basis to keep the material fresh and fun for your players. If a player has to do the same thing everyday they are going to get bored and turned off to it, but if they are constantly doing new drills it is fun and exciting and they are also getting better. Players learn and develop at a different pace so don’t stress perfection or mastering something, stress effort.

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Why are you Coaching Basketball? Set your Priorities and Philosophy

Youth Basketball Coaching Philosophy

Coaching can be difficult.  Especially when you are coaching younger kids.

They don’t always pay attention.  They don’t get what you are saying the first time.

Sometimes they hear you and go off and do something else right away.

It can be frustrating.

But, it doesn’t have to be.  If you set a few priorities and determine why you are coaching, it can help guide you through those difficult situations.

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To be an effective basketball coach, the first thing you need to do is establish your philosophy and priorities.

This might sound silly. Nevertheless, this very important step allows you to apply very effective coaching techniques.

Here’s how it works…

You see, the most effective way to get the results you want is to emphasize the “right” things.

It’s all about what you emphasize!

Players really notice this.

If you consistently emphasize and talk about rebounding, passing the ball, and playing the right way, then you’re players will pick up on those things.



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