An intrinsic desire to play and improve

As one of the 3 cornerstones of our Pyramid of Skill, motivation is arguably the most important block.  Nothing really happens without the player’s intrinsic desire to improve.  Over the years of Basics’ existence, a common theme we see is parents and even basketball programs trying to “legislate motivation”.  Not only does this never work, it will likely create resentment in the player who is not committed to begin with.


Players are either intrinsically motivated to play and improve or they are NOT.  How much fun is basketball?  OMG!!  If a player can’t be motivated by the sheer joy or fun of basketball, don’t sweat their competitive commitment.  Help them enjoy their few years in the game without retribution or overt criticism.


This may seem odd but Basics has over the years helped players LEAVE the sport.  Many of these kids play because they are either told to play or its a box that needs to be checked.  PARENTS- if your kids want to compete and it’s in “their belly”, they must have intrinsic motivation.


  • Beginning players-does the kid want to play, is it fun, do they smile, talk about the game?  Do they look to play OUTSIDE whenever they can?
  • Intermediate players–talks about the game, watches the game, interested, asks questions, practices on own.  Does not need to be prodded.
  • Advanced players– practices constantly, never bored with the work, seeks competition, relentless work ethic, handles poor play/practices/games and maintains a positive attitude, helps keep other players motivated!



Basics does NOT SUBSCRIBE to the current model of travel, competition and CONSTANT play as youngsters develop in any sport.  We know that emphasizing skills and school and appropriate adult modeling for these kids MUST COME FIRST.  If you are interested in learning the Basics methodology for your program, your school district or your child, you are encouraged to explore the web site, the Pyramid of Skill, CALL or EMAIL with any questions.  616 402-1600   Thank you