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Coaching Strategies > Team Spirit

What is team spirit?

  1. It is a combination of respect, trust, and enjoyment amongst a group of individuals who work towards agreed common goals.
  2. It is not a simple concept and is often elusive to some teams and coaches, but when it flourishes it increases the chances of winning and fosters commitment.

Building team spirit is one of the most satisfying experiences for a coach. The building blocks to team spirit include other aspects of team management including motivation and goal setting, player management and cohesion.

Coaches often exhibit a communication style which may be either competitive or cooperative . Competitive communicators tend to be slightly aggressive and view the player as a threat or enemy whereas a cooperative communicator, which is more appropriate, is assertive rather than aggressive and looks for mutually acceptable solutions.

Being assertive illustrates your confidence in the subject and doesn't offend players or discourage them from contributing

Types of communication include:
Feedback to the group post training
Pre-match motivational talk
Presenting video footage of opposition
Setting individual and group goals
Resolving conflict between players
Written materials such as moves or training planner
Knowledge of the subject and appropriate terminology

From a team perspective, a player should be encouraged to communicate with all other players and understand their role in the group. Building trust amongst players is imperative - they begin to understand each other and develop rapport. Players also need to adapt their behaviour to enhance the team culture.

Individuals are vital to a team and their willingness to adapt their behaviour in order to enhance the team performance is crucial. Examples of team spirit enhancing strategies include:

  • Fun warm-ups
  • Non football games i.e. Aussie rules or touch rugby
  • Pre-season tours
  • Social events e.g. trip to the races
  • Seminars i.e. similar to the Application Example

Ref:- Better Coaching: Advanced Coach's Manual

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Team spirit increases the chances of successful performance and winning
From a coaching perspective, the communication principles include:
Presenting clear and simple information
Listening to all players
Gaining attention before presenting information
Appropriate tone and volume of voice
Reading body language
Keeping a positive approach
Knowledge of the subject and appropriate terminology

Application Example

Team spirit and mutual respect
Instruct players to write a comment about each player in the team, starting with the phrase "I want X in my group because……

Collect the forms and transfer the comments to a single sheet for each player.

Example of Input Form:

I want X in my team because…

Joe Tackler inspirational
Dan Kicker great defender and fast
Example of Feedback Form

I want Joe Tackler in my team because…

  • Never takes a backward step
  • Great communicator
  • Inspirational
  • Consistent
  • Dedicated to fitness
  • Etc, etc…
Key Points
  • No negative or daft comments
  • One time implementation i.e. don't repeat the drill
  • Every player has input
Ref:- Better Coaching: Advanced Coach's Manual