4 Things to Understand About Team Culture
When trying to provide a positive and successful athletic experience for your athletes, the very first thing that a coach must do is to establish a team culture that promotes excellence. Before we compare the different types of culture its important to note that a team’s culture involves EVERYONE! Coaches, players, managers, trainers and parents (especially parents) must buy into the vision for the team. The reason why I put parents in parenthesis is because these are the individuals who will most likely have the opportunity to spend the most time with the athletes off the court. You cannot build a culture of excellence if every time your athlete goes home, their parents are spreading negativity.
The first point I want to make about a culture is that while a team’s X’s and O’s might change from season to season or even week to week, successful culture is consistent! While there are multiple definitions of culture, the most popular is that culture is a shared expression of a group’s attitudes, beliefs and values. The reason why culture is studied so extensively throughout sports and business is because of its potential impact on individual and team performance.
Essentially, culture is a shared mindset amongst a team. The result of culture is a system of acceptable or unacceptable behaviors and formalities that can be applied to virtually everything that group members encounter. What’s even more important for you the coach to understand, is that when group members are unsure of how to act they will look externally towards other members for guidance and reassurance. One take of this is that negative culture will have a negative affect on its members thus breading a negative team. From a leader’s perspective, this concept may be the most important and powerful to understand.
Lastly, the most grueling aspect of culture, again from a leadership perspective, is that everyone involved with the team contributes to the culture in some way. Whether members contribute something healthy and positive or toxic and negative, all actions will influence the team’s culture. With every single group forming its own culture, leaders might as well take the necessary steps to ensure that their team’s culture is one that promotes excellence.
Written By Dave Stricklin
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