The Top 5 Ways to Develop a Positive Sports Environment
Whether it’s the field, team bus, or locker room, a positive sports environment can have a direct and dramatic positive effect on sports teams, resulting in more fun (and more wins). A positive sports environment should be exactly that — a place where team members feel at home, and are inspired to connect with teammates and carry on team traditions. These environments help student athletes strengthen their identity and role within the team, and gain support from teammates during times of distress. While every sports team can create these kinds of environments, they don’t usually develop by chance but instead by carefully designing a place where the team can come together with expectations of integrity, hard work, and success.
Top 5 ways to develop a positive sports team climate
- Positive attitude from coaches. The fastest and best way to get the kids you coach excited about being a part of the team is bring your A-game positive attitude to the team. When coaches are optimistic, excited, and positive, kids immediately mirror these same qualities, leading to a healthy and fun experience for everyone involved.
- Create an environment of winning. What does your gym/stadium and locker room look like? Does it feel like a place where success occurs? Is it clean and inviting? Or does it need a new paint job, floor waxing, and general TLC? When your sports environments look nice, it instills a pride within the team and excites student athletes to play their best.
- List the expectations for the team. What expectations do you have for your team? Conference championships? State/national recognition? Future college athletic scholarships? Are these expectations visible for the team to aspire to achieving?
- Promote a holistic message. The great thing about interscholastic sports is that they encompass both sports and academics, and this is an important message for student athletes to embrace. Get kids excited about excelling in the classroom, not just passing to stay eligible.
- A connection to the past. Does your locker room and sport venue include championship banners and/or pictures of previous top athletes from your program? Connecting today’s kids to great student athletes from the past is a great way to carry on winning school traditions.
Are your players in their best mind set before they go out and compete? How your sports environment looks and feels goes a long way toward getting athletes to compete, so make it a priority to build a winning atmosphere. Promote a successful climate through your attitude, actions, and surroundings, and before you know it your program will be the envy of your opponents.