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How to Best Fit Your Coaching Philosophy with Your Team

How to Best Fit Your Coaching Philosophy with Your Team
February 17, 2022 | Andre Harakas | 4 min read

It’s not as easy as keeping persistently positive when engaging with your players to create a good team culture where athletes are thrilled to show up for practice and game day. Team cultures develop over time and may have a significant influence on your players both during the season and as they go through the sport.

Tasha Belix, a certified psychologist in Calgary, Alberta, works to develop healthy cultures with sports teams, coaches, players, parents, and her own girls. She outlines five methods you may do the same with your team in the next section.

Create a Unique and Enjoyable Team Culture

Most teams lack a toxic team culture, but they also lack a good team culture. If you only go through the motions of hosting a team practice and expecting your team to attend games, you won’t be able to develop a distinctive and enjoyable team culture.

Coaches should “make an effort to build a distinctive and exciting team culture,” according to Belix. “Talking about games that didn’t go well and finding out how to utilize positive psychology to get around it,” coaches might begin. Coaches might also make a conscious effort to have fun during sessions. Coaches may mix in other practices, such as going to a community pool to play instead of swimming laps.

Ask Appropriate Questions

Always ask yourself questions about your squad as a coach. To begin started thinking critically about culture, Belix offers the following:

What can we do to make this team a safe environment for individuals to express themselves?

How can we encourage teamwork?

How can we make practicing more enjoyable?

How can we make this a place where people want to come and stay?

Make certain that your athletes have a voice. Coaches frequently try to solve everything themselves, but players may and should be the ones to help develop a strong team culture, according to Belix.

Promote Feedback

“Create a means for players to offer you honest feedback throughout the season.” “I prefer to do this anonymously,” Belix explains. “Have all of the athletes sit down with index cards and pencils, and have everyone write down their remarks for you.”

Make it clear to your athletes that their opinions may be either good or negative. This is an excellent technique to ensure that athletes may express their concerns without fear of being singled out. Don’t put it off till the end of the season. Early in the season or in the middle of the season, according to Belix, is preferable since you may make modifications and changes before the season is done.

Fit Your Coaching Style to the Requirements of Your Team

You can believe you’re doing everything right, but there’s a player on your squad who doesn’t like your coaching approach, according to Belix. You may need to make an effort to teach various players differently, especially with teens.

“I know one coach who received a criticism from one of his athletes, and he hadn’t understood that his tough-love coaching technique was hurting her emotions to the point that she was contemplating leaving the team,” she says. “He was a really enthusiastic coach who loved the sport, and he was upset to learn that he’d made one athlete feel horrible accidentally.” It transformed his coaching method, and he now solicits anonymous input regularly to ensure that all of his athletes are performing well and feeling supported.”

Be Aware of Cliques

“Coaches may work behind the scenes to prevent cliques from developing by doing things like randomizing room assignments on trips, pairing people together alphabetically or by height, and mixing things up so no one is singled out as being split up.’ “Shake things up a little bit so the athletes have to get to know one other a little better,” Belix adds.

Remember that shy athletes may need cues when talking with new people, so arranging team icebreakers will assist individuals who are timid about conversing feel less worried. Prepare three questions to discuss on a bus ride, for example, when seating has been randomly assigned.

It’s time to make a change if your team isn’t having fun and no one wants to be there.

“Building a great culture won’t happen overnight,” Belix cautions. “If your present team culture isn’t as positive as you’d want it to be, start small by soliciting feedback from your players, assisting the squad in developing deeper connections, and allocating time during practice to having fun.”

It’s not about winning or even gaining skills for young athletes; it’s about developing self-esteem, friendships, and other intangibles.”

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