Important Team Building Success Tips for Coaches
Coaches, regardless of sport level, are tasked with many important challenges. Team success on the field is usually the top priority, but in order to experience team success coaches must first learn how to develop quality relations with players, create a respectful team locker room environment, establish safe training/practice measures, and promote team rules with accompanying consequences. When athletes buy-in to what the coach is selling, maximum team performance often follows. Conversely, coaches who fail to lead the team by strong leadership and developing healthy interpersonal relations run a high risk of seeing their team under-perform — even in cases where there is clearly talent on the team. Fortunately, coaches can increase their chances for team building success by learning important tips and strategies designed to both strengthen bonds, while at the same time challenging athletes to push to reach their full potential.
Coach ideas designed to help
While it is true that every team is unique, there are still a number of ideas and strategies that can be successfully integrated designed to increase the chances for a fun, safe, and successful sport season — below are a few tips to help you get started:
- Know your players. Take time out to meet 1-1 with kids and learn about the things they enjoy doing, their hobbies and interests, and how they see themself contributing to the team. The better you know your athletes as people, the stronger your relationship will be and the greater the chance for maximum production on the field.
- Be clear about goals. Talk to kids about the goals you have for the team, and invite kids to tell you about their own personal goals and how their goals can strengthen the team. Help kids understand the importance of developing goals that are specific, measurable, controllable, and flexible.
- Establish team rules and consequences. Be clear about team rules, and help kids understand why team rules are important to team success. Additionally, discuss the consequences kids will face if they break a team rule, regardless of their athletic talent or role on the team.
- Use team meetings effectively. Team meetings can be a great way to explore team issues and motivate kids to succeed, but be sure to use these meetings effectively. One way of thinking about team meetings is like adding hot peppers to a pot of chili — sprinkled in strategically and they can be great, but going overboard by having too many meetings (hot peppers) can lead to unintended consequences.
Regardless whether you coach pro athletes or at the youth level, the coach is the one who ultimately sets the tone and climate for the team. Coaches who promote sportsmanship, safe play, a positive team culture, and assist athletes with the support and instruction to succeed often experience positive results from their efforts. And remember, your players don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care — make it a point to get to know each player and help him or her use the sport experience as a trampoline to bigger a better future life success.