Former women’s college basketball coach Gail Goestenkors offered these nuggets of coaching wisdom on building team unity:
- Her teams used a buddy system where players are paired up, usually a reserve with a starter. During time-outs, the buddy not playing provides a drink and encouragement to her partner. To prepare players for how to act off the bench, the Duke coaches demonstrate how to be supportive, including cheers and the best way to high five.
- Players contribute to scouting reports, watching tape with coaches and writing down the strengths and weakness of opponents.
- They also have a practice player of the day and year, based on hustle and fundamentals.
- Roles are generally accepted by players for the good of the team. One player commented: "We always talk about how knowing your role is so important. Although some of us would like bigger roles sometimes, we need to perfect the ones we have, especially during tournament time. It helps us to hold each other accountable."