Keep Your Players Hooked with these 3 Strategies

Nabil Murad
2 min readMar 20, 2023

If you want your players engaged and excited to be at practices, you shouldn’t rely on rote learning strategies.

Rote learning not only limits creativity and adaptability in players, but also leads to inattentive players. It doesn’t create memorable experiences.

Unlike the ending of Season 2 of Ted Lasso

The Season 2 finale created a number of curiosity gaps. Viewers are tuning in emotionally connected and anticipating what will happen.

You can do the same too, using the Zeigarnik Effect and the Peak End Rule, to leverage the power of emotions and curiosity to keep your players attentive and invested in practices.

Here are 3 ways you can do this;


Turn your drills into games and competitions, complete with rewards, levels, and challenges. It will make practice more enjoyable and create a sense of achievement to keep players focused.


Leverage the power of storytelling within your practices. Coach Carter got his players’ attention by talking about his sister Diane. Alex Sarama gets his players’ attention by giving them a “License to Kill”.

This creates an emotional connection to the activity which makes it more memorable.

Mystery Activity

Finish practice on an emotional high and inform the team that they will be learning a new play, strategy, or new activity at the next practice. Dress it up a little to create curiosity and anticipation, making your players eager to find out what it is.

By adding these strategies to your coaching methods, you will create a more engaging and memorable experience for your players, which can ultimately lead to an increase in motivation, focus, and skill development.



Nabil Murad

Full time professional youth basketball with an avid interest in meta-learning. Passionate about youth development, behavioural psychology and storytelling