Whether it is a basketball team or a work team, an effective coach or manager will ensure that the daily process of practicing or working does not become tedious or hum-drum. Here is what Coach Lambert had to say:
"Staleness is a time-worn alibi that outsiders use to ex-plain defeat. The coach must fight this idea, although staleness may occur at times. If a team goes stale, it is the coach's fault.There are certain conditions which will cause staleness, but the principal reasons are mental. Long schedules, too long practices and worry cause a mental weariness. Players lose interest and lack enthusiasm if the coach holds them too rigidly to routine. The proper physical condition may be maintained by the work the coach gives, but the player may still become tired mentally. The value of rest must be recognized during a long season. If players are in good physical condition, it is well to give them now and then a vacation of a day or so, when they should be kept away from the scene of basketball.
The attitude of play should be retained in practice during the season. It is a good sign to see spontaneous play on the part of the individuals. All the fun that players may get on the floor should not be taken away from them because the coach is earnest in his work. At any time there is spontaneous play, the coach knows there is no staleness. Overworked players, we may say, become stale. Their muscle tone has been destroyed, and they are out of condition. Rest is the cure for physical as well as mental staleness. Players who are stale lose weight, lack enthusiasm, look tired and become irritable. Plenty of sleep, change of environment and change of diet, if the condition is physical, will bring the player back."
Red Auerbach kept the Boston Celtics fresh for eight straight NBA titles by having his players collaborate with him every day on new basketball plays and ideas for their teams to use. John Wooden ended every practice on fun. Greg Popovich had players coaching and supervising drills at USA Basketball Practice and played some one on one defense himself against his all-stars. Some of the best and brightest companies shut down their main frames after 6 P.M. so employees cannot log into work from home. The best managers always have a contest going to keep work fun. Weekly potluck lunches are a staple of fun companies.
It might be beneficial to reread Coach Lambert's advice and consider how you can apply it.