Magic Johnson and Team Cohesion


In basketball the cohesion is a need to achieve the team primary goal: cope with the opponents with confidence and grit. The internal rivalries, if not limited to few episodes are wasted energies and keep the players engaged in activities with a disruptive impact on training and match. The team must always think in terms of US and the coach should encourage the participation of players, listen them, treat everyone with the same criteria and avoid favoritism, support altruistic behaviors and reduce the individualistic behaviors.

Magic Earvin Johnson’s story is an example of how even a champion have to move from too individualistic behaviors to greater cooperation with the mates. In fact, when Magic played in the Los Angeles Lakers also stood out for his dedication to teamwork: passed and defended rather than thinking about scoring points. It was Magic to explain to his coach Pat Riley as he had established this great attitude.

When he was a little boy, playing Youth League basketball in East Lansing, Michigan, his coach told him he was the best player of the team and he should have to shoot the ball all the time. He did it, scoring  most of the points of the team, which won all the time. Despite these victories the other teammates looked miserable, were depressed and nobody thanked or appeared pleased about what he was doing. Magic also was not lucky and he did not want to be this kind of player. He decided to change, becoming more altruistic, defending and passing the ball to the mates. The team mood changed completely and the mates became much more motivated, increased their skills and continued to have success.

What about your team, the players put aside their ego and work to be cohesive independently of the match momentum?