The game of basketball requires a great deal of teamwork, and certainly more than five players must be ready to play when called upon. At the start of the season we convey the objective of team play and the importance of team unity. Players are not rated one to 12. They are rated by positions. They know where and when they are apt to play. We believe our first group will play better knowing there are substitutes ready to replace them. Each player is taught the role that will best help our team. Our goal is that all players will take great pride in their roles.
We also applied some sound military practices to our situation. For example, during World War II, the “buddy” system made one soldier dependent upon another. Few deserted. We find the same principle works for us. During our six-week period of running prior to the season, we ask our seniors to be models and set the example for the rest of the squad. We divide our team into three running groups according to how fast they can run. When practicing free throws, the whole team runs when free throws are missed. We do things in practice to help each other. When running sprints, we measure the last bread and insist on maximum effort. We also practice drawing the charge because it is team play.