With summer league on our hands for high school basketball, it’s important to look at how we will make our program better. There are some obvious ways to improve: skills, athleticism, how your team defends or executes offensively. However, there is one crucial key to a team’s success that can also be improved. The chemistry of your team could make or break the outcome of next season. While chemistry is often defined by how a team plays together on the court, the emotional chemistry of the team is much more important. A team with good chemistry will celebrate in a teammate’s praise, encourage teammates when they are struggling, and let go of their personal pride and admit their weaknesses to fulfill their role on the team. A term that is used to describe players who destroy the chemistry of the team is “cancer”. You hear this from reporters when talking about players that NBA franchises want to get rid of because they are a cancer to their team. They are poisoning the body of their team. The symptoms might disappear sometimes, but they will always come back. Usually, stronger than ever. The team cannot function at the level it should be, simply because of what one player is doing. They might even be playing very well on the court. But emotionally they are tearing the team apart.
Proverbs 22:10 says “drive out the mocker, and out goes strife; quarrels and insults are ended.” A mocker is defined in the Proverbs as a proud or arrogant person. Without this person, the hostility within the team goes away.
Do your part this summer, whether a player or coach, to build emotional chemistry on your team. Take ownership for your mistakes, admit your weaknesses to allow others to shine, and encourage others to flourish in their role.