Our Intangibles

David Welp, Head Boys Basketball Coach at Forest Park High School, Ferdinand, IN


At Forest Park, our basketball program is built on the following three intangibles: TRUST, TOUGHNESS, AND TEAM-FIRST ATTITUDE. We believe that players who have these intangibles will have greater success. The closer players are to these perfect intangibles, the greater chance they have to reach the ceiling. If our players have high trust in each other and the coaching staff, then they are more likely to play with fearlessness and full effort. If they are unselfish and coachable, then the team will come first, meaning they will learn from the coaches and work with teammates, even at the expense of their egos. If they are tough, they are less likely to let problems keep them from fulfilling their potential.

Our coaching staff puts in a lot of time in finding kids who are willing to work and willing to learn. We can then mold players into the pieces needed to win. If we ask our kids to rate what kind of season they want to have from 1–10, they will usually say a 10. But if you ask them how much effort they put into becoming a great player over the summer, it is usually not a 10. High character players are usually the ones most likely to put in the 10 effort, and therefore most likely will achieve the 10 results.  Our job as coaches is to mold our players into high character athletes.  We believe that if these three intangibles are applied, then we will have a team that plays the right way!


“When building teams, no quality is more important than trust. Trust builds momentum, improves performance, and bonds teammates and coaches. Lack of trust destroys those same things. Trust equals strength and it is real. Trust eliminates fear. Competitive people thrive on trust. Teams need to trust to reach their potential. Players respond to trust with improved effort and attitude.  

When teams get into a tough competitive situation and team trust has been left to chance, there is little hope.

Trust is visible! It can be seen in an ideal teaching/learning environment. Where athletes trust their coaches they also trust their training. Once trust is established the learning process speeds up dramatically. It can be seen in the way players and coaches interact.”

The Impact of Trust by Bruce Brown

I highly recommend this book.  I have learned through the first two years of being the face of a program that trust is the most important factor in a team setting.  I believe trust can make or break your team, and through trust, players will play for each other and play fearlessly. 

The following are the qualities that we aspire to have in our program at Forest Park:

  1. Energy levels and effort are consistently high. We believe our players will play with full effort and complete attention at all times.
  2. There is a collective responsibility. The higher the trust level, the more responsibility is required, given, and embraced.

“In leadership, there are no words more important than trust. Luck favors the team that trusts each other.” 

-Mike Krzyzewski


At Forest Park, our system requires tough coaches and tough players. Tough players are fundamentally sound and demonstrate positive attitudes (team attitude) which helps teammates succeed. We as coaches must be disciplined, competitive, and have a work ethic second to none. We must be teachers of the game, consistent with our philosophy, and promote our values. Basketball toughness equals T.P.W.!!! I believe tough coaches and tough players believe in the following:

  1. Make No Excuses
    • We do not allow anyone in our program to accept or make excuses.
  2. Take Responsibility for Your Actions
    • Coaches must model poise and self-control. Players will feed off of us and draw confidence from our mental toughness.
    • We teach our players when they make a mistake to recognize it, admit it, and learn from it so that it doesn’t happen again. Finally, forget it so that it doesn’t affect any more plays.
    • Our players must be able to accept both praise and constructive criticism.  We believe CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM is a “COMPLIMENT”. We want our players to say “thank you” when a coach corrects them.
  3. Preparing with a Purpose
    • We take time in every practice to rehearse different pressure situations that arise in games. We must prepare our players for pressure and have a plan for every situation. Players will remain focused under pressure. 
    • We use the phrase “Next Play” when a player makes a mistake and gets them to focus back on mental toughness and what is happening next in the game. 
  4. Fight Off All Temptations that Get in the Way of Our Team Goals:
    • We make a point of emphasis that poor body language, moping, pouting, displays of disgust with officials, and other negative behaviors are training our players for failure. We correct them any time they occur in practice, games, or in the locker room. 


What does it look like when it comes to being a great teammate?

  1. Interdependence: The true athlete understands and demonstrates a “team-first” attitude. Once they commit to joining our team they are taking an intentional step from independence (it’s all about me) to interdependence (it’s all about us). This athlete intentionally puts the needs of the team ahead of their own in every decision they face.  
  2. Team Ahead of Me: One of the fundamental responsibilities of a successful team leader is to eliminate selfishness. Selfishness on the team level or with any individual players will destroy the team faster than anything else will. A “Team-First” attitude will allow people to accept roles that make others better. Great teams have individual players who each make their unique contributions with roles. Every decision should be based on “What does the team need from me?” or “What can I do for the team?”
  3. Player Roles: We must have people willing to do a variety of things. Every one of our players in our program will have a player role. I meet with each player 3 times throughout the season to discuss player roles. Once before the season, middle of the season, and at the end of the season. This provides the player with an identity to help our team perform optimally.


If our players play with these intangibles we will be playing the game the right way. It’s doing all the little things well that helps our team become part of a bigger picture. Our team is built around solid fundamentals and teamwork rather than individual basketball skills. The secret to basketball and life is to just do your job the best of your ability and don’t worry about anything else. Win the next play. We want to put ourselves in the best possible position to have success. That is our focus. That is how championships are won. 

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