Stop calling players soft w/o teaching them how to be tough.

Use these 13 specific ideas to define toughness for your players.

Before we get going, know this:

Toughness is a skill.

It can be developed & improved.

The toughest players are the ones who make it easy for their teammates and hard for their opponent.

Let's dive in.
1/ Set good screens.

When you set a good screen, you're improving the chances a teammate gets open...

...and you're improving the chances you get get open.

That's toughness.
2/ Set up your cut.

Basketball is about deception.

Set it up, then cut card.

A hard cut may get you an easy basket.

That's toughness.
3/ Talk on defense.

The toughest players communicate with their teammates.

When you talk, you let your teammates know you're there.

You let your opponent know you're engaged. And You make each other better defenders.

That's toughness.
4/ Don't get screened.

Tough players have a sense of urgency not to get screened so the cutter can't catch the ball where they want.

Make the catch difficult and make your opponents life miserable.

That's toughness.
5/ Run the floor — hard.

When you do that, you'll score more.
When you do that, you'll be hard to guard.
When you do that, you'll create for others.

There's nothing easy about an "easy bucket."
6/ Get to your teammates first.

When your teammates lay their body on the line to dive on the floor or take a charge, get there quick to help them up.

Tough players are great teammates.
7/ Finish plays.

Tough players don't just get fouled, they get fouled & complete the play.

They don't give up on a play or assume that a teammate "had it."

A tough player plays through to the end & finishes each play.
8/ Take & give criticism the right way.

It's hard to have those tough conversations. So here's a quick tip.

Speak with truth and love when sharing something a teammate may not want to hear, but needs too.

That's toughness.
9/ Show strength in your body language.

You'll make a mistake. You'll mess up. Avoid hanging your head & whining to officials.


Project confidence & security with your body language.

That's toughness.
10/ Make getting better daily your goal.

Tough players hate losing but aren't shaken by a loss. Tough players enjoy winning but aren't satisfied.

The goal is to get better every day.

That's toughness.
11/ Be alert.

Tough players are not "too cool."

They're alert & active, constantly communicating with teammates so they're alert, too.

Tough players echo commands until everyone is on the same page.
12/ Make every game important.

Tough players don't categories opponents & games. They know if they're playing, it's important.

Tough players understand if they want to play in championship games....

...they must treat every game as a championship game.
13/ Eye contact.

Tough players don't drop their heads.

They look coaches & teammates in the eye because if they're talking, it's important.

It shows respect.

That's toughness.
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for more basketball content like this!

But wait, there's a bonus...👇
14/ It's not your shot; it's our shot.

Tough players don't take bad shots, and they certainly don't worry about getting "my" shot.

Tough players work for good shots & understand that it's not "my shot," it's "our" shot.

Tough players celebrate when "we" score.

1. Set good screens
2. Set up cuts
3. Talk on defense
4. Don't get screened
5. Run the floor
9. Body language strength
7. Finish plays
8. Give criticism right way
9. Body language strenth
10. Get better daily
11. Be alert
12. Every game's important
13. 👀
14. Our shot

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