Effort Gets Reward

As a coach one of the most important ideas you need to sell to every member of your team is Effort Gets Reward. When working with players trying to improve how your team’s work ethic and the type of “regular” input you need in order to achieve is of constant focus. For many coaches this is one of the first aspects of a team’s culture they will try to develop as it leads onto some many other opportunities for improvement.


Effort can be seen and felt in many aspects of the game (Photo credit: Katford)

Effort is a term used by most coaches walking around a basketball court. It refers to the spark that drives the engine. Effort is the initial energy as well as the ongoing absolute and then becomes the resilience which keeps a player moving. No player has endless amounts of energy to direct into effort, but there are those players who have learned quicker than others that to compete and be the best on the floor that they need to always be willing to apply effort. Once a player develops this initial internal philosophy to always apply as much effort as they possible, they can start about establishing the application of this energy as a habit. A player, who trains hard, plays hard. The player who tries to turn their effort on and off will ultimately sell themselves and possibly even their team mates short when it counts most.


Reward is the end result of the countless hours of toil, but can be seen in the many battles that happen on court in a training session as well as a game. In every training session there are often many competitive scenarios that play out. The player who trains with the mindset of effort gets reward ends up wearing down their opposite number. This player is still going at the end of training long after their opposition has slowed. This underlines why effort can be a habit and it needs to be develop as soon as possible in your players for them to always be pushing, always challenging and forever becoming a better player for themselves and every team they are within.


The type of effort needed for your team to be successful needs to be highlighted. In your players draw attention to the demands of the teams endeavour and what needs to happen to ultimately achieve success and play the sport in the right way. The mindset of effort gets reward is not exclusive to teams who are not as talented or those running a specialised system, it is part of the philosophy every team should have.


The reward is the goal, it is the objective and the outcome. For players this helps define what is success and is a starting point in thinking about what they must do. The effort is the process and when followed leads to the reward. As an example a team might have a philosophy of being able to guard a dribbler for three dribbles. This is what is required for success and has repercussions for the help defence, rebounding spacing and then early phases of the team’s offense. The effort one player makes in defending their player for three dribbles results in a reward for the team of executing a strong defensive rebounding performance.


Basketball is a team sport and as a result your team must learn to develop its own rhythm and pace from which they can gain optimum performance. A team of course will not be able to play in isolation and in part, as a coach, you will need to be able to define for your team what is needed compete within the level of the sport or standard of play to ultimately have success. But there plenty of examples how teams develop key aspects of their game play and achieve success based upon this style of play.


The difference between being able to bridge the gap in a team’s weaknesses to finding success is inexplicably linked to the mindset of effort gets reward. If your team has an unwavering determination then together they can truly do great things. Effort gets reward will help you sell to your players what is needed to get the job done and can be used in conjunction with what each individual is responsible for and will be held accountable to.

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Coach Riches has been working within the sport, business and education industries for many years. During this time he has built an extensive number of formal and informal qualifications. A firm believer in training and development designed to help people reach their full potential, relevant o their needs and functional to their industry environment.

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