Monday August 10, 2015
Maybe it’s because I’m the dad of a High School athlete, but I find this time of year exciting. Coaches are getting teams to end of summer practices, camps, and workouts all geared to help athletes start off the fall athletic season at the top of their game. Coaches know that the best teams aren’t made from pure skills alone. Team dynamics, the mental game, coachability… all play a huge role in making the best team.
Before you hit the bleachers to cheer on your favorite teams, consider these strategies to help the team you work with succeed:
1. Share Your Vision. Top teams have a common goal, whether it’s a state playoff or a banner year of sales. Focusing on a common vision brings a team unity and passion. It also lets you know who isn’t in the game.
2. Remember Your Roots. Shared history is almost as important as shared vision. Get everyone to look back and remember, but don’t stop there. Create tomorrow’s history today. Sports camps and business retreats shouldn’t just be for skill development.
3. Know Your Enemies. Coaches psyche their teams to beat the cross-town rival for a reason; a common enemy makes a stronger team. Your enemies could be competition, declining sales, turnover, runaway costs. Work it right and involve your team in beating it.
4. Get the Right Players. Coaches know it’s not just skill. The greatest potential quarterback who is not coachable and has ego problems will not win the support of his team. Don’t be enamored with credentials, experience, and reputation alone. Hire for fit.
5. Position Your Players. Coaches know they need players in the right places. If a Volleyball Coach switches the libero and middle hitter blocking and digging won’t look so hot. Get your people in the right place in your organization so that they can contribute, achieve, and help you win.
6. Practice. The best volleyball teams practice the same routines over and over. The best football teams run the same plays. The best cross country teams keep running. Drill your team on the things they need to do to win customer loyalty, close deals, and get along.
7. Celebrate. Everyone wants a championship, but there are a lot of smaller games before that. Break what you need to achieve into smaller parts and then celebrate every victory along the way. Celebration, affirmation, and encouragement all go a long way toward winning the heart of your team members, and help you re-enlist them for the next season.
Make this a winning season for your team. Your raging fans will love it!