How to deal with Bad Teammates in Basketball? | Tips

I am willing to bet that you have come across all of these player types and personalities that I am about to mention in this article. Nothing is worse than being apart of a team when there are a few bad teammates who constantly complain or only care about themselves. What’s worse is that you are stuck with them for a whole season.

Some of these player types that we’ll go over can make your life miserable on the court. From ball hogs, hotheads, and players who are absolute D**k’s, in this article we have you covered with each problem you might face on the court and how to go about it. This way you can focus your energy on the game and not your teammates.

You may be experiencing this right now on your team or frequently at your local pick-up game. The suggestions can work for both forms of basketball so just keep that in mind.

How to deal with Ball Hogs in basketball?

This type of player may be the hardest teammate to play with. Nobody likes a ball hog but they like a scorer, but this isn’t always the case. Everyone wants to be able to have the ball in their hands during a basketball game and get an opportunity to shoot the ball from time to time.

Having a ball hog on your team will feel as if every time you pass to this individual on your team one of two things will happen, he either shoots and or he shoots (Not a typo). You play a pickup game they are taking the majority of the shoots and while they are able to score it is due to the high volume of shots they need in order to do so.

While it does seem these players are fearless and they are, the players that the ball hog plays with will confirm the fact they should shoot, because he is constantly passing the basketball. It could be that this player is unaware that they are in fact a ball hog but often times they just believe they can get it done better than anyone else on their team. Confidence that in fact a lot of players wish they had. Ball hogs play the game for themselves and are selfish. Oftentimes these players dog it on defense but are quick to run the court as soon as the ball is rebounded by their teammate. Ball hogs love pumping their own stats. Sound familiar?

How to deal with this player type?

Play with them…

The first thing you can do is play off them creating a two-man game with the ballhog, you can even go as far as taking strategy. Tell them to pass you the ball and you will give it right back to them and do so for a couple of passes. If you gain their trust by passing the basketball to them a couple of times, they will continue to pass you the ball because they believe that they will get it back. Now whether you pass the ball back after gaining their trust is up to you.

Freeze them out…

The second way is to freeze them out entirely. What does that look like? You and a couple of teammates stop passing them the basketball during the game. Just know anytime you have to do anything that takes away from the way basketball should be played there is a good chance that your team will be at a disadvantage or lose. He may get the picture or he may not, regardless he’s going to shoot anyways.

Not the greatest idea, as he may dog it even harder on defense, but he will do it anyways. If he really wants to win then he will realize in the game that he is going to have to play team basketball.

Call them out…

The third way to deal with this player is to call them out in front of your teammates, this serves a couple of purposes. One, you call them out and your teammates will see and generally back you up. Two, they will see their mistake and start passing the ball more. Three, if you say you should have passed it to Mike who is also on your team because he was open, your team will side with you knowing you have the teams best interest at heart.

Avoid them…

The fourth, way is to avoid this player altogether. Do not play on this players team during pickup basketball at all costs. But what happens if you play on the same team on your AAU or High school team? There really isn’t much you can do but what I have mentioned already. You could try to expose him in practice by playing defense on him while stopping them from scoring and humble him. But these types of players are a hard nut to crack.

In the end, it would be up to the coach to decide if his shooting volume is necessary in order to score points to win the game.

How to deal with Negative players on your team?

These types of players are difficult to play with because of their mindset. It only takes one negative player to create a toxic environment and soon you have a hand full of them on your team. This player will find anything to complain about and will be the player sitting on the bench and to never clap for his teammates, who are battling on the court to secure the win. Instead, they have their face in their palms complaining about why they are not in the game at that moment.

Even when things go well for the player and they score a couple of baskets, the coach will sub them out and he will complain the moment he starts walking off the court to the bench about why the coach subbed him off. He will say I was on fire with his 4 points he scored in the 5 minutes. When he makes mistakes it’s everyone else’s fault but his own. Sound Familiar?

How to deal with this player type?

Tune them out

It takes a lot to tune out a player who is two feet to the right of you and is complaining, but this is the best thing to do. Even more important is to make sure the other players ignore him also. Because the last thing you want is your teammates to follow suit.

Leading by example and not paying attention may help that player realize that no one else wants to listen to him complain. When you don’t respond to his complaints it will not encourage him to continue to complain. Tuning them out can be difficult but can encourage him to stop in-directly.

Call them out…

Again just like ball hogs you can address the situation and call them out. When you call someone out and say you don’t want to hear them always complaining and whining they will initially get defensive, but they will be more likely to stop and think about doing it next time.

Positive Vibes

This player may just need some encouraging words. Chances are this is the way he treats life and may think everything is unfair if it doesn’t go his way. Take him under your wing, and tell them good job more often and fill his head up with positive affirmations.

You will be surprised at how that could change a player’s attitude and demeanor. Go one step further and tell the coach the player is struggling and it would be a good idea to throw some extra motivational words his way. Positivity can go a long way in a player, building a player’s confidence can make that player better just with words, and much happier to play the game of basketball. Usually, these players are struggling average basketball players trying to fit in.

How to deal with a Hot Head in basketball?

Do you know this player? the type of player ready to explode on anyone that says a thing to him. Sometimes a scary-looking dude that everyone is afraid of. You much rather play on his team than against him if you had to choose. Misses an easy layup or shot and yells out the word F********************************K! the entire gym can hear and will kick the ball in the process. The temper tantrums are normal to him but to everyone else, they question wtf is wrong with this person. This is also the player that gives the coach many issues and costs the team many points in technical fouls. Sound familiar?

How to deal with this player?

Get him a psychiatrist. The end!

Defuse the situation before it’s too late…

If you know this player well, then you know what makes him tick. If you can recognize the signs you need to step in and defuse the situation before it gets out of hand. You and I know that there isn’t much time either. Get to him before the confrontation gets out of control, simply saying don’t worry about it we’re about to win or we’re winning let’s just play, will hopefully help him realize to let it go before it’s too late and he is unable to process the information.

Unrealistic expectations…

We’re all hard on ourselves as basketball players, this is how we push ourselves to be better. But I have known players who would get so upset if they missed one shot it appeared it was the end of the world for them as they threw tantrums. This is very unrealistic, they have set way too high expectations that they are setting themselves up for failure.

Sitting down with your teammate and explaining to them that their expectations are unrealistic and they are way too hard on themselves may help that individual come to the realization that they are in fact to hard on themself. Most athletes who want to play at the next level do this, they set the bar way too high thinking that is where it needs to be set in order to play at an elite level. This may be the case but it takes some form of progression to reach your goal.

The reality is…

You may need to also tell them that their outbursts on the court are costing the team points and the game due to his technical fouls. In fact, may even suggest that this is the reason they have not been playing much in games.  All though they may know the outbursts are affecting the team, it still becomes a matter of how this player can better control his emotions? Realistically may need professional help.

Sometimes in situations like these, there isn’t much anyone can do or say to help this player. Most often it will just have to be managed as it happens, but a reminder prior to games and even between quarters can help this player with some positive reinforcement which could improve the player’s temperament and even performance.

How to deal with players who hate the basketball coach?

This might be worse than the negative player, this is because a coach who is already hated by the players is viewed through a microscope, and anything the coach does that the players don’t like fuels the players’ beliefs while confirming their view of them.

Players will blame the coach for losing, playing time, or favoring other players. A coach’s main focus is not to get the players to like him, although it helps, but his main focus is to provide life lessons through basketball while trying to create a winning team and atmosphere.

I have been on teams where a couple of players did not like the coach and as soon as the team was doing poorly it was the coach’s fault and the whole team eventually didn’t like the coach. Sound familiar?

How to deal with these players?

Ignore Ignore Ignore…

Do not get involved, coaches are not blinded to the fact of what is going on within their own team. You don’t want to be associated with a group of players that put blame on others rather than focusing on working hard to help the team win instead of expecting the coach to have a miracle pill for winning.

Tell it like it is…

Tell the players like it is, generally when players don’t like the coach it usually has to do with playing time. These types of players think playing time should be handed to them without any hard work. Tell it like it is, if you don’t like it why complain? Either get off the team or do something about it as in start working hard in practice.

A different perspective…

Tell the players to talk to the coach and see what the coach’s expectations are and what their role on the team is. Players generally have a misunderstanding of coaches and it could easily be solved with a quick one-on-one meeting with the player.

Some players feel ignored by their coach but an understanding of what the coach’s view is can help that player work on anything that the coach suggests. As a coach, I have had meetings with players and we found common ground for them with a better role and on the team which led to more playing time and a better fit for the team.

How to deal with players that don’t try or don’t show up to basketball practice?

These types of players could care less about hard work or being a team player, generally, their favorite sport isn’t basketball. They show up late to practice or not at all, leaving the team with fewer players on the practice floor. What makes it worse is if your team is not very good, or has a bad record. This will instill the fact they could care less because the team sucks anyway.

Call them out…

Call them out, you are hearing this often but this serves a couple of purposes. When you do this during practice, the coach will take notice. Secondly, your teammates will also. Nothing is worse than a bunch of players giving their all in practice and in games only to have a player not give a crap and dog it at the cost of the team.


If your the captain of the team then you should talk to this player. It’s your job! Did the player still not get the picture? Talk to the coach in private and voice your concerns. There could also be things going on in this player’s life that you don’t know about, so tread carefully.

How to deal with teammates who are jerks in basketball?

These types of players can cause a lot of issues on a basketball team. When emotions are high during a basketball game the last thing you want to hear is a player being a jerk and stating the obvious. You know this player, the type that makes fighting comments. They are not a very good teammate but sometimes is the leading scorer on the team, this is why he gets away with such comments. Nobody on the team likes him or wants to hang out with him.

How to deal with these players?

Stand up…

If the player makes a comment that you don’t like then you need to stand up for yourself. The reason being is if a player thinks he can say whatever he wants to you then he will continue. If you stand up to him, he will likely think twice about saying something to you again knowing that you spoke up before.

If you are too scared to say something, there is strength in numbers, if a few of your teammates stick up for each other and speak up this might further get the message and point across. Players like this sometimes alienate themselves because of such comments.





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