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Nothing Beats Hard Work

It’s a coach’s dream—leading a team that outworks every opponent it plays.  Hard work is the hallmark of a successful season, and it usually doesn’t happen without a great deal of planning by the coach.  An article on the Ohio University Online Master of Coaching Education website outlines ways that coaches can foster the culture of hard work among team members.

Focus on Positives

The article says there’s there may be no better example of this attribute’s benefits than Gregg Popovich of the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs. “Pop” is well known for integrating nre players into the Spurs’ championship culture and winning year after year.

“That those players would become NBA Champions with The Spurs is no accident,” the article states. “It’s all part of Popovich’s coaching practice of staying focused on player’s positive attributes and down playing their weaknesses. This, as numerous writers have observed over the years, puts all his players — not just the superstars — in a position to win at any time during any game in any season.”

Build a Buzz

Successful coaches are able to build a winning attitude not only among the players, but also within the community surrounding the teams: parents, players’ friends, students in school, and people in town . “It’s a coach’s job to create an expectation among these others that his or her team will always be a winning unit,” the article says. “This inspires winning enthusiasm from nearly everyone his players come in contact with (even outside of practices and games).”

According to the article, the Association for Applied Sports Psychology offers advice for how coaches can build a buzz around their team. One idea is producing T-shirts that promote the team’s winning attitude. Another idea is to hold community pep rallies for their teams or to write announcements to run in school bulletins that inform readers of the team’s successes.

Ask Players to Share in Building the Culture

The article advises coaches to delegate some of the team leadership to the players themselves. This can involve having players provide input on what’s covered in team practices and meetings, or asking the athletes to evaluate the team’s progress and areas of weakness.

“This type of communication may go against a coach’s natural instinct to be a strong leader, but experts say it helps a team build winning ways,” the article says. “When a coach’s communication techniques allow players to incorporate their own ideas into the team’s overall program of practices and meetings, players have ‘ownership’ of ‘their’ team. And, when all players identify the team as theirs, hard work from all will be the natural result.”

Practice Teamwork

All sports have certain drills that highlight the importance of displaying teamwork in that sport. Coaches should regular add these types of drills to team practices.


Click here to read the whole article.  For more information on the Ohio University Online Master of Coaching Education, visit their website.

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