10 Characteristics of a High Character Player

Kyle Ohman, Basketball HQ (http://basketballhq.com/10-characteristics-of-a-high-character-player)

No Plays Off

The temptation for players is to take possessions off when they are tired or mentally fatigued. This usually happens on the defensive end of the court. High character players stay mentally engaged when they are on the court, and they recognize that they have a responsibility to the team to be locked in on every play.

Maximum Effort

There are always going to be players that are more naturally gifted and faster than others. They can finish in the top 3 on every sprint without having to output maximum effort. A high character player recognizes that they are competing against themselves to run as fast as they can. They try to win every sprint and run as fast as they can each time.

Competes in Every Drill

There are always going to be certain basketball drills that players like more than others. The tendency with this is to give less effort on the drills that aren’t as fun or as enjoyable. This is not how high character players approach drills though.

Instead they have already made a commitment to compete and give their best effort in every drill that they do because they want to improve individually and also help the team get better.

Leads by Example

We have all heard the phrase, “talk is cheap.” This is especially true when it comes to leadership. Anyone can talk about doing the right things, but it takes a special player to stay committed to doing it the right way day in and day out, regardless of how they are feeling on a certain day. High character players lead with their actions on a daily basis.

Holds Teammates Accountable

Great teams are players led, and that means that the leaders of a team need to make sure that they are holding their teammates accountable. If a teammate is acting in a way that hinders the team’s success, there needs to be leaders on the team to step up and say something.

High character players are able to lead their teammates because they have already been modeling the team first attitude. They don’t allow anything or anyone to take away from the team’s success.

Celebrates Other’s Success

Whether your role is leading scorer or 12th man on the team, it is important that high character players celebrate another teammate’s success and the success of the team. This doesn’t mean that you don’t work hard for a bigger role on the team, but there is no place for talking bad about teammates or complaining about minutes.

First In and Last Out

This goes back to leading with actions and not just words. Players know who is in the gym working hard, and if you want to challenge your teammates to work harder, you need to be the hardest worker on the team. Show up early before practice to work hard and then stay late to work even more; players respect this.

Does the Right thing when No One is Watching

It is easy to do the right thing when you know a coach is watching, but when character is really revealed is when no one is watching. Do you touch every line even when the coaches aren’t watching? Do you complete every rep?

This may seem like a trivial thing, but it adds up and becomes something bigger if you allow yourself to cut corners. High character players hold themselves accountable and do it the right way because it is the right thing to do.

Invested in Teammates

Getting in the gym and working on your individual skill development is great. However, the next step and a sign of a high character player is bringing teammates with you when you go to the gym.

High character players are invested in their teammates and they understand that they can’t do it all on there own. They recognize that it takes a great team to win games and ultimately championships.

Communicates at a High Level

Basketball is a game of communication. Whether you are on the defensive end of the court, on the bench, or on offense, you should always be communicating. Communication saves breakdowns and helps the team’s overall success.

As a high character player you want to be the best communicator on your team. Communication is contagious, and before you know it the whole team will follow your lead and begin to communicate on a high level.


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