Find out what it means to me? It means everything!
Every coach wants a team that plays well together. With chemistry, everyone has more fun, performs better, and handles adversity better. Any team with double digit members will have individuals who are not best friends, but there is that does not prevent exceptional team chemistry. What would make it impossible is a lack of respect.
Coach Boone, in Remember the Titans, nails it in this scene:
How do you get your team members to respect each other?
First, help them to respect themselves:
- Get clarity on personal values. Here's a written Values_exercise.pdf that will achieve this goal in about 15 minutes. Have each team member share one of their top values, and why, and you have a great team-building discussion.
- Define success in controllable terms. Wooden: "Success is the peace of mind that comes from knowing you did your best."
- Reward good behaviors that often go unnoticed. Catch them doing things right that traditional statistics won't catch.
- Create a culture where teammates are filling each other's emotional fuel tanks regularly.
Second, help them to respect others:
- Appreciate differences. How can a team be greater than the sum of it's parts? By the different parts complimenting each other! Umbutu: I am what I am because of what we all are. I cannot be at my best unless you are at your best.
- Spend time getting to know all teammates. Some players will gravitate into sub-groups, but leadership will coordinate inclusive activities away from practice.
- Be forgiving. Recognize that is possible to disrespect a specific behavior without disrespecting the person.
- Keep negative emotions out of it. It's all part of the process. Don't get mad, get curious.
What suggestions can you add to these two lists?