Practical Ways to Build Team Cohesion
“A positive, united team is a powerful team. It does not happen by accident.” - Jon Gordon
One of my favourite Theodore Roosevelt quotes is, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Simply put, when it comes to coaching: connect before you correct. Whether your players listen to you consistently or not, whether they have bought into your culture and systems or not, whether they are super talented or not - I can almost guarantee that you will get more from your current players if you invest some time outside of practice getting to know who they are as people. Your team will not develop superior trust, communication, teamwork, resilience, vulnerability, and grit by accident. To go from a team that just shows up when necessary, to a team that can count on each other on and off the court is a special transformation that can work wonders.
Team bonding does not have to be expensive, time consuming or stressful. Here are a few options to think about:
I’ve won games, tournaments and championships, but some of my fondest memories as an athlete have nothing to with those. The teammates and coaches that have meant the most to me are the ones that showed me I was more than just a basketball player to them. As coaches we are not only developing athletes, but developing the next generation of leaders. And don’t fool yourself into thinking that team building is a waste of valuable on court basketball time...to leave you with another Jon Gordon quote, “Team beats talent when talent isn’t a team.”
This post was written by Right Way coach, Clare Murphy, who is currently completing her Bachelor of Education degree at the University of Ottawa while also serving as an assistant coach the Women's Varsity Basketball Team.