Learn the 5 Key Steps to Building a Sports Dynasty
Coaches are always looking for tips and strategies when it comes to building an environment of winning, and the good news is that with an open mind and commitment to the process, developing a sports dynasty might be more realistic than you think. Of course, there are many pieces that go into creating a culture of excellence, from selecting the right players and coaches, learning the best on-field strategies, and using the latest sport science knowledge when it comes to weight training and mental toughness development. The good news is that even if your team is lacking in one (or a few) of these areas, you can still maximize your team’s effectiveness and develop a model of success for future teams to follow by considering the sport psychology tips provided here.
The first thing for any coach is to believe that he or she really can create a successful sport team that is competitive year in, year out. The truth is that if the coach isn’t 100% sold and committed on this idea, the rest of the steps won’t matter as the team will never totally buy in to what the coach is selling.
Assuming you’re on board, there are a number of basic building blocks when it comes to developing team culture and cohesion that will lead to on-field success.
5 Steps to building a dynasty
- Clear leadership, vision, and expectations. As the coach you are the primary person who sets the tone when it comes to team leadership and dynamics. Do all of your players respect (not fear) you in this role? Do you have a realistic vision for what you want to accomplish, and team expectations that challenge players on a daily basis? Do you have an outline for each practice, and specific goals you want to accomplish daily? The better and more prepared you are, the less likely you will experience “losing your team” during the season during tough stretches, and will instead experience greater resiliency when things don’t go well.
- Fairness and consistency. While it is easy to play favorites with star players, or even families who contribute to the program, the best advice here is to steer clear of doing these things. The key is to get to know your players individually, but to apply the same rules and consequences to all. Players should know what is expected of them, the benefits of them giving 110%, and the consequences if they break team rules. When you coach like this, you inevitably build the trust necessary to play beyond what your team looks like “on paper.”
- Get the TOTAL buy-in. The old saying “Your players don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” is a great starting point when beginning to address team culture and climate. Start by setting team goals with your assistant coaches and players, listen closely to the diversity of thoughts and opinions, and be enthusiastic about the likelihood for future success! The more you model a winning attitude, the more likely your team will, too.
- Reinforcement of values, effort, and success. In life we are all probably guilty of spending more time critiquing and criticizing than we do emphatically reinforcing success. Great coaches know that catching their players doing good things should prompt swift, hearty, emphatic praise if you want players to continue to display great focus and motivation. It is important to acknowledge when players are making great off-field decisions (i.e. with grades and social responsibilities), for their effort (even if the results aren’t quite there yet), and of course their success.
- Alumni involvement. Great coaches make it a point to connect the team today with teams of the past in order to develop an ongoing historical pride in the program. Do you have pictures up of your former great players? Do you invite them periodically to speak to your team? These relatively simple efforts often result in dramatic, positive changes in the amount of pride players take in their team, and the subsequent efforts they will make when they take to the field.
Developing a sports dynasty is no easy task, but there are definitely steps coaches can take to increase the odds of building a team culture that expects success annually. Remember, there is great latitude when it comes to developing players and getting the most from your team — the more you put in as a coach, the more likely your team will return favor by giving their all and playing to their best abilities on the field.
chemistry, Coaching, cohesion, high, interscholastic, mental, psychology, school, sport, team, toughness, youth