Much has been written about the ways and means of establishing a healthy and successful sporting culture.
Unfortunately, in focusing primarily on techniques and strategies, the true nature of the human experience is overlooked.
Emphasis is placed on encouraging or discouraging visible behaviours. These are symptoms and by-products of culture.
The universal human values and principles which underpin these behaviours are ignored.
Defining or describing a set of behaviours or values that you want players to exhibit or buy into will not produce a happy or successful culture that endures.
It is putting the cart in front of the horse.
Yet this is how so many coaches and leaders attempt to change the culture in their organisations. They are left wondering why the players either buy in for a short while then regress to what comes naturally to them.
Or they simply pay lip service to the new ideas.
Encouraging a group of individuals to bond or connect by emphasising their shared differences with another group will usually backfire. It may look like you are creating togetherness, but the feelings of insecurity and isolation from the greater whole will eventually show up in terms of over aggression and ill discipline.
Red heads rather than blue heads in the current parlance.
A healthy culture cannot be created with a ‘top down’ rules based approach. However there is no doubt that the players will pick up on the feelings of and adapt their behaviour based on the behaviours of the leaders of the team, group or organisation.
They will do as you do, not necessarily as you say.
This is why it is so important that as a coach, you have a deep and clear understanding of your own wellbeing. Of where your experience is really coming from.
A coach who believes that their wellbeing can be affected by the result of a game, the performance of a player, their position or status, or any other outside situation or circumstance, will be living in an ongoing state of insecurity and anxiety.
This insecurity is impossible to hide.
On the other hand, a coach who understands that they are OK regardless of the bounce of the ball, the points on the scoreboard, the performance of the referee or the standings in the league table, will be steadfast and resolute in carrying forward the vision they believe will benefit the team in the long term.
Coming from a place of love, not fear, they regard every player as their equal, rather than emphasising hierarchy and exerting pressure in an effort to control.
Being a great coach starts with understanding who you really are. Knowing where your well-being really resides. When you understand yourself, you automatically understand more about the people you are leading.
Techniques and strategies become less important as you allow players to trust their instincts and realise their potential. Rules become redundant as players buy into your vision for the organisation, safe in the knowledge that they will be listened to and their well-being taken into account.
Outcomes become less important, but somehow, success becomes more likely as everyone starts to pull in the same direction. Connection with supporters and the wider community grows and momentum builds.
Learn more about this powerful and different approach to coaching and leadership.
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