We have fewer teams in each division this year and the leagues just became more competitive. As usual as a result teams need to work harder and smarter and one thing that surely should be a great motivator is positive team culture. Team culture is the manner in which things are done in your team. How practice is run, how the players conduct themselves on and off the court, communication amongst each other, activities off the court and generally habits. Habits require time and patience. Good habits developed within a team, once consistent can eventually contribute to its greatness. Culture should be worked on daily. A few simple ways you can build positive team culture are as follows:
This is core. It is important for a coach to ensure that team members feel equally valued. All the necessary steps should be taken to ensure that player roles are clearly defined, well communicated and equally appreciated. Yes, even the water boy/girl. Players in turn, besides working on these roles, need to be consistent. In addition, they should learn to respect themselves, each other, and their opponents.
These can be done daily, weekly monthly but ideally as often as possible. It is a great way to analyze individual and team development and brainstorm on any team related issues. These meetings are very beneficial to develop the proper culture within the team.
Rewards and praise are always a good and highly effective way of motivating players. It is always good to recognize outstanding performance. Coaches can reward players for acts of stellar leadership, teamwork, accountability, among others.
Integrate fun activities such as team lunch or dinners, movie night or karaoke night for the players to further bond off the court. Community service is mostly overlooked yet, as important. Has your team ever organized or been part of any outreach program? It is as simple as cleaning up a public area or hanging out with the homeless. It is a life changing experience. So besides bonding over ‘chapo za Mama Brayo’ or drinks at West Mall, try some CSR activity.
Tradition can be built, built by consistency in any or all of the above factors. The prevailing vibe of your team should scream pride. Players must play for each other and for the name that is across their jersey. Positive team culture precedes championships.
The writer is a player in the Kenya Basketball Premier League. If you want to blog for us send an email to email@example.com.