Team Culture – Coaches’ Involvement
By Dennis O’Toole, BQ Coaching Committee
Coaches have an important role when it comes to team culture and the selection of members who would be best suited to fulfil the makeup of the final squad.
As we know, team culture is the measure of the behaviours your team or organisation promotes and accepts. Standards have to be set and accepted by all of the stakeholders. Goals of the organisation must be given and the playing group must accept these and not try and implement their own agendas. Individual appreciations are good provided they conform to the standard set.
Coaches who are given a squad must assess the following areas so they can make an informed decision to the selection panel. These are:-
1. Has the player the physical level, the technical ability and the right mindset to coincide with that required?
2. Is the player able and willing to contribute to the team beyond their technical role? In other words will they encourage others, offer constructive advice and support and assist in team preparation, do their fair share of the mundane jobs, communicate positively during play and put the team first instead of their own egos?
3. Once selected, will the individual player be able to perform their role for the whole period of time or will they disrupt team culture by wanting to move position from that selected or criticise other members of the group?
The challenge for the coach during the selection process is to envisage how the members of the team will combine and get on together.
How is a player going to perform if they are not in their preferred position? What method does the coach use to show understanding of situations that could arise and be able to create great teamwork? Does the coach advise that those on the team are the best person for the team not the best person on the team?
The coach will have to be aware and be able to control personalities of the team chosen. They will do this by proper planning for situations that can arise.
Some very pertinent areas the coach will need to recognise are:-
1. Who in the team will have the strength to overcome other players’ limitations?
2. What will be necessary in getting the team to work as a unit? How can the individual’s personal improvement add and strengthen the team culture?
3. How can the coach tailor their own individual style to create the required environment and be inclusive to the whole group?
The method will be a flexible approach. Treating each member as having individual needs will require understanding of these needs, bearing in mind the culture of the team as a whole unit.
Reconciliation is important to success as well as specific individual coaching to make the player reach the required level.
Sometimes players have the necessary technical and physical skills but may need additional support on fulfilling the non-technical issues. Player feedback on their performance is a must. This gives each player a chance to step-up to the requirements of team culture and their role to overall performance.
As you can see team culture and the involvement of a credible coach are both vital.