by Dr. Cory Dobbs
Every team has players who always do less than they are asked; still others who will do what they are asked, but no more; and some who will do things without anyone asking. What every team needs is more of the third group, players who serve to inspire those around them to do things that will make the team better. These are the players who constantly renew their commitment to being their best for the team and whom others would do well to model.
A fun and energizing environment is much more productive than a routine and stale environment. Student-athletes who enjoy their sport and their teammates come to practice with more energy—more passion. And this can be contagious.
To help lift your team’s performance look for ways to infuse your team with passion. Help teammates believe in themselves. Build their confidence and self-esteem. Search for ways to make your teammates feel important and appreciated. Celebrate and get excited about
the successes and accomplishments of your teammates. Make it a daily goal to point out the strengths and contributions of those around you.
You can infuse your team with passion by the acting out the following eight principles in your daily activities:
1. Keep Your Fire Burning. Fill your energy tank frequently. Your teammates feed off your fire. Avoid burn-out by regularly relaxing and refreshing your mindset.
2. Take Charge of Your Moods. Recognize your present mental and emotional state and take time to reflect on how your attitudes impact and influence your teammates.
3. Listen to Teammates. Spend time with your teammates and attempt to understand their feelings, perspectives, and experiences. Make it a way of life rather than a onetime event.
4. Be There for Others. Team building is about recognizing, respecting, and appreciating your teammates. Your friendship can be just the encouragement a teammate might need to make it through a challenging time. The smallest gesture, a simple act of kindness, at just the right time can make a big difference.
5. Act with Integrity. Blaming, finger-pointing, and accusing others will lead to negative reactions. Do what you say you will do. In other words, walk the talk. Your attitudes and actions should be consistent with your words.
6. Be Genuine. Your teammates will see right through you if you are phony and superficial. They want you to care about them and help them achieve their goals. Belief in your teammates will breed trust and healthy relationships. Point out others’ strengths and contributions—daily!
7. Refrain from Excuse-Making. Players that are committed to excellence identify what top-notch performance looks like and then take action steps towards that standard, never making excuses for disappointments and failures along the way.
8. Mend Broken Fences. Great teammates are those willing to admit mistakes. Durable and enduring relationships are built by pushing through adversity. Conflict is natural. Restore relationships where conflict has caused tension. Be patient, persistent, and pleasant when restoring a relationship.
New to the Second Edition of Coaching for Leadership!
We are pleased to announce a new chapter to the second edition of the best-selling Coaching for Leadership. The chapter, The Big Shift: Unlock Your Team’s Potential by Creating Player-Led Teambuilding, connects the previous edition of this book to its origin, as well as to the future of team sports. The new chapter sets forth a practical and applicable agenda for change and improvement. The reader is introduced to seven vital elements of change; seven shifts of traditional mental models that lead to the new core principles necessary for creating a player-led team culture. Click here for more information about Coaching for Leadership
“Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I will care.” -Your Student-Athlete The world of coaching is changing. In Coaching for Leadership you’ll discover the foundations for designing, building, and sustaining a leadership focused culture for building a high-performance team. To find out more about and order any of the Sport Leadership Books authored by Dr. Dobbs including Coaching for Leadership, click this link: The Academy for Sport Leadership Books
About Cory Dobbs, Ed.D.
Cory Dobbs is the founder of The Academy for Sport Leadership and a nationally recognized thought leader in the areas of leadership and team building. Cory is an accomplished researcher of human experience. Cory engages in naturalistic inquiry seeking in-depth understanding of social phenomena within their natural setting.
A college basketball coach, Cory’s coaching background includes experience at the NCAA DII, NJCAA, and high school levels of competition. After a decade of research and development Cory unleashed the groundbreaking Teamwork Intelligence program for student-athletics. Teamwork Intelligence illuminates the process of designing an elite team by using the 20 principles and concepts along with the 8 roles of a team player he’s uncovered while performing research.
Cory has worked with professional athletes, collegiate athletic programs, and high schools teaching leadership and team building as a part of the sports experience and education process. As a consultant and trainer Dr. Dobbs has worked with Fortune 500 organizations such as American Express, Honeywell, and Avnet, as well as medium and small businesses. Dr. Dobbs taught leadership and organizational change at Northern Arizona University, Ohio University, and Grand Canyon University.