Create a Winning Culture for Your Sports Team
Most sports fans are intrigued when watching storied franchises like the New England Patriots or San Antonio Spurs win year after year, often wondering what goes into building annually successful teams in sports? Of course, having good players helps, but that’s obviously not enough as countless teams have had good players yet still failed to live up to expectations and potential. Interestingly, even though the players change from year-to-year, successful teams still find ways to win, prompting us to consider the culture of winning teams to be at the heart of their annual success.
When I visit various schools and sport organizations, I almost always take note of the environment and whether it feels like a winning or losing culture. Some places just feel like winning places, while others barely have any recognition that sports are played at all. Since culture plays such a big part in mindset, I thought I would explore some common variables found in winning sport environments:
- Pride. Winning sports cultures have a positive team building feel generated by lots of team pride in the forms of pictures, trophies, banners, and other team gear. Promoting an identity and history helps current coaches and players take pride in the environment, which propels motivation, focus, and even strengthens resiliency.
- Recognition. In addition to decorating your sport environment with team gear, it is important to recognize previous team and individual champions, too. Take the time to create showcases and other means for highlighting previous success in order to help your current team continue the line of success.
- Alumni. Keeping former athletes involved as coaches or other support personnel help strengthen the link from the past to today’s team. Winning sport environments always welcome back players from the past, and keep them involved as much as possible.
- Integrity. Winning the right way by playing by the rules and steering clear of cheating can play big dividends when it comes to a winning sports culture. Most successful organizations are built on the pillars of trust, honesty, and respect, so make sure to create this same type of feel with your sports team.
- Consistency. When groups of people bond by having similar practices in dress, language, and other uniting measures, a stronger bond amongst team members develops. Up the stakes by having expectations for everyone (including coaches) around proper dress and keeping the locker room free of cursing and derogatory language.
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