Basketball player driving for a layup

Three Pillars to Building Team Culture

Three Pillars to Building Team Culture
January 26, 2022 | Andre Harakas | 3 min read

In the sports world, it is commonly believed that a team’s culture has a significant effect on how it works and performs. The setting in which team members train and compete has an impact on how they think, feel, conduct, and ultimately perform on the field.

Have you ever been on a “downer” squad, for example? I’m referring to a workplace that is rife with negativity, unhealthy competitiveness, and conflict? It certainly does not feel pleasant, and it might obstruct your ability to function at your best. It’s tough to do anything about it as an athlete; the only options are to accept it or find another team. However, as a coach, you have the ability to change this.

I counsel regularly in the business sphere, where I assist CEOs and corporations enhance individual and team performance, in addition to my psychological work with athletes. One of the most essential aspects of my job is assisting senior management in developing a healthy and high-performing corporate culture. Developing a positive team culture is just as vital in athletics as it is in business. So, before we start applying these ideas to sports programs, let’s define what a team culture is and why it’s so important.

A team’s ideals, attitudes, and aspirations towards sports, competition, and relationships are reflected in its culture. It affects whether the team’s emphasis is on having fun, improving, or winning, or if it supports individual achievement or team success, for example. A team culture is important since it has a direct impact on many aspects of team functioning and performance:

The team’s culture defines acceptable conduct standards, either directly or implicitly communicating to members what is and is not acceptable. Team members may be taught how to act, communicate, collaborate, and deal with conflict based on these standards. Everyone in a team is more likely to follow clear standards when they are set.

The environment that pervades all part of a team’s experience is created by the culture. Is it a calm or a stressful atmosphere? Are you more supportive or competitive?

All of these characteristics of a culture have actual consequences for how a team runs, how its members get along, and, most importantly, how the athletes on the team perform and create outcomes individually and collectively. When a team has a clear culture that all of its members understand and embrace, they feel an implicit pressure (in the positive sense) to support that culture.

Your mission is to foster an environment that promotes individual and team development, achievement, and enjoyment.

Team Culture’s Three Pillars

Values, attitudes, and objectives are the three basic foundations of a team culture that underpin all team functioning and performance.

“Principles or standards of conduct; your judgment of what is significant in life,” says the dictionary. Values are crucial because they drive the decisions and choices you and your athletes make as a group and individually. Whatever you value the most will be the focus of your time, effort, and energy.

Share this post
mail iconmail iconmail icon