I think all those factors could be contributing. My suggestion is to stay with it, remain positive and energetic and when you do get that win it will feel like you just won the NCAA tournament. Good luck and hope it works out.
Sounds like a tough situation to be in as a coach as well as a player. Especially at this point in the year. I would try to set some goals for them during games. We are going to hold the other team under 30 points, or allow no 3 point baskets, or win the TO battle are all goals that are pretty easy to track. You can also stress that you as a coach are most concerned with the improvement of the group and the progress that they are able to make as individuals and as a team. If winning is not all that likely to occur, at least they will have something to shoot for that is more likely to happen and give them something to feel good about. Hopefully something along these lines will keep them coming out for the team in years to come.
I am writing a book about our high school winless season - 0-11 in league play but 9-15 overall. My players never doubted themselves or wavered in their own ability - we are in one of the toughest AAAA leagues in North America as an A team. It was my best season of coaching in 25 years - many small victories along the way - I have never been prouder of a bunch of youg men in my life - adversity has the effect of eliciting talents which in prosperous circumstances would have lain dromant.
I agree with the above posts. Tough situation. Agree with Brian that you should set goals for games. Instead of talking about winning games or competing well enough to win a game, talk about winning quarters. At the start of each quarter, re-emphasize the goal of outplaying the opponent for the quarter. Eventually if you win enough quarters, you will win the game. We also set game goals like points allowed per quarter, shooting a certain % from the FT line as a team and how may charges we can take during a game. I know everything comes down to winning games, but if your players are better at the end of the season then they were at the beginning, then your season has been a sucess. Hang in there.
I just went through the same type of season. I was hired just weeks before the season started, had a week to pick my team and a week to prepare before our first game. I did not know anything about the players or their skill sets and only 2 players were returning from the previous season. We could hardly score more than 30 points and twice we fell behind by 30 plus points before we ever scored! Yikes! We played pretty good defense for the most part but we couldn't score. In fact, we held a team to just 2 made field goals in a game and still lost. Needless to say, we were in a pretty bad predicament. However, my coaching staff focused on the positives and relayed the message that "winning is not the most important thing, but a winning attitude is." Find small victories for your team that do not relate to the scoreboard because even if you play your best game ever, the other team could still come out victorious. You had a plan coming into the season, so stick with it. Your strategy should be focused around the positive things your team does well, get them to execute that even better and hopefully the rest will take its own course. Remind yourself that you are a good coach so you do not get frustrated. Good luck. Oh by the way, one of the teams that beat us so bad came into our gym with a 19-2 record while we had only 4 wins. They left with their 3rd loss after we prevailed 30-26. I hope you get yours.
Remember, above all, that you are a teacher. If you are getting beat by 20, try to only get beat by 15. When you get beat by 15, then try to only get beat by 10, and so on. If you stay in coaching for any length of time, you will discover that talent comes in cycles. These moments help you to define what your program is going to be about. Celebrate the small victories. The scoreboard will take care of itself. Best of luck.