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June 07, 2023   |   Tagged Coaching,

Servant Leadership and Basketball Coaching


Are you a servant leader as a basketball coach? The answer is found in the lives of your players—are they better, wiser, more free, more autonomous and are your players also servant leaders?

Take a look at your team, these questions will help you determine how much servant leadership is present on your team.

Service-- how well does your basketball team serve each other?

Equality and dignity-- Is there a hierarchy where the “best” players are treated like aristocracy and the rest of the team like serfs? Are your “best” players the best role models and the most willing to help others on the team?

Words—how well does your team navigate crisis and how well do they speak to each other and about each other?

Energy—does your team drain energy or give energy?

Improvement—does your team reach and surpass their goals?

This little assessment can help you clarify the work ahead of you this season. Start with the smallest, easiest task first and build momentum. Try one new task as a team for two weeks, once that is a habit, add something new. Stability, consistency, and dogged day in and day out commitment to one small change will do more good than a huge rehabilitation plan.

Servant leadership is a leadership theory that is focused on the most effective and powerful ways to lead people. Interest in studying leadership emerged out of the disastrous 1930’s and 40’s , as the world struggled to navigate some of the most terrible leaders in history: Hitler, Mao Zedong, Stalin, etc.. leaders responsible for the murder of millions of people. Afterward, scientists, educators, and thought-leaders, began to wonder what makes good and bad leaders. How do we make sure we find good leaders? Servant leadership is the attempt to forward leaders who bring out the best in people and in life. They are leaders who look first to serve, not to lead. This humble decision to serve first, removes ego and self-interest and instead places listening, well-being, and even love at the core.

Servant leadership asks us to consider different ways to lead. According to Fortune Magazine, 5 of the top 10 companies to work for are actively practicing Servant leadership. Servant led start-ups are significantly more likely to thrive. (Entrepreneur Magazine) Servant leadership practicing companies also navigate economic downturns better than those who do not practice Servant Leadership. For the ability to thrive, servant leadership is at the foundation of all teams, businesses, and families who not only survive but thrive.

One of the reasons, we at NBC Basketball Camps champion Servant Leadership is because it is an easy way to assess the efficacy of coaches and staff.

Here is the simple evaluation: Do those being served grow as people?
Do they become wiser, healthier, freer, more autonomous and more likely themselves to be leaders who help others become better?

For basketball, it’s an easy matrix: Is my team getting better, closer, stronger, more unified, and more successful and is everyone improving together not just the best. Often on teams, the good get better and the average gets worse. Servant leadership helps move the needle for everyone.

About NBC Basketball
NBC Camps begin in 1971 and its program has grown to be one of the largest camp programs in the world. Located in 6 countries, NBC Camps offers training for boys and girls in basketball, volleyball, lacrosse and other talent-based programs. NBC stands for Nothing Beats Commitment and the philosophy that our daily habits reveal our future. NBC Camps offers team camps for boys and girls high school programs to help teams come to greater skill, basketball understanding, team unity, and school excellence. For more information about NBC Basketball High School Team Camps and other basketball programs visit www.nbccamps.com.

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