Building a Team Culture

October 30, 2015 | Posted in: Baseball, Basketball, Coaching, General, Hockey, Player Development, Soccer, Sports, Youth Sports


Building a Team Culture

Successful teams and programs have many building blocks which enable them to achieve success and one of these key blocks is culture. As coaches, we are the builders of culture and environment.

We in essence define our culture every single day with each and every interaction (players, coaches, parents, officials).

To assist in building a Championship Culture on and off the ice we challenge you to think about the following:

1. The coaches on our staff move out of our comfort zone every single day, just like we expect the players to do.  We are open minded learners, we love questions and we want to improve.

2. We never address our players by their last name.  We use nicknames and first names as a sign of respect for the individuals we work with.

3. Team rules help define our culture and how we operate.  Our team has input into the rules and direction of our team, which creates greater “buy-in”.  There are negotiable and non ­negotiable rules we have established. As coaches, we must adhere to the same rules and expectations as the players and parents.

4. A key part of culture is preparation, organization and habits.  If we expect players to demonstrate these aspects, we must also do so.

5. Winning in our culture is defined by personal excellence on and off the ice.

6. We create an environment where by our players cannot wait to come to the arena.  If we all love to be to be togther and achieve together we will maximize learning and enjoyment.

7. It is never,”MYTEAM”.  It is our team and together we encounter success and failure in our journey.

8. Parents are a key part of our culture.  We include them and involve them in our family and extended family.  Without the parents we are missing a key component of the equation.

9. It is an honour to be a coach and we never forget that.  The culture we create is a reflection of who we are and what we value.  Your team will become what you value.

10. Culture building is extremely hard work and will not just happen.  It is a day to day endeavour and pursuit.

11. Accountability is a critical aspect within team culture and as coaches we are managers of this. At times, we are challenged to hold each other accountable to our beliefs and need to be honest with each other even if the discussions are difficult ones.

12. “Nobody knows how much you know until they know how much you care”. Players who are immersed in a culture with leadership that genuinely cares about their lives, interests, passions…..will achieve significant things.

13. Look at programs that always excel.  Why is this?  What are the commonalities within those programs?  What can we take from them to improve what we are doing?

14. At the heart of culture is respect.  As coaches, we can never demand respect.  We earn respect.  Respect is earned by having knowledge, passion, understanding and the ability to execute (ie. run a great practice).

15. Becoming a great coach makes you a better father, mother, husband, wife………Transfer culture into your own life and experiences outside of the game.

16. The best culture for young athletes is one that allows individuals to be themselves and have no fear of who they are or what they are able to do.  We want the players to feel safe physically, socially and emotionally.

17. Players always know that with in our culture they have our unconditional support.  This means that no matter how badly they screw up we will never attack their person, but, we will deal with their behavior.

“Thank you Coach for all of your life lessons, valuable teachings and especially your patience. This is why we call you Coach”. ­ (Referenced by: John Wooden)

You influenced me to be the young man/woman I am today and I thank you sincerely for that.

Signed: The Players