An Approach to Teambuilding Based on Values: Part 1

Mike Coldham

Mike has over 25 years of coaching experience as a Technical Mentor Coach of people in Business and Sports. Now retired after 35 years of public service, Mike created the TLPF website to support the development of competitive minor hockey players. Mike works with competitive hockey players to help them learn how to play faster which requires tactical knowledge and skills.

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Image courtesy Brock University

Every head coach is tasked with the responsibility of assembling and developing the best possible team. It’s not an easy task. Assembling the best team doesn’t necessarily mean recruiting the players with the most talent. Talent takes an athlete only so far. Coaches are tasked with selecting and developing players who will fit into the culture of the team. Evaluating and recruiting players to a team is a key part of the equation. As important, if not more important, is the development of the players once the team has been assembled. Players are evaluated and recruited based on a set of criteria and it’s not an exact science.

Legendary college football coach Nick Saban rightfully points out that there are some players who have the misguided idea that they have a lot of choices in the development process. Saban points out, that if you want to be good, it takes what it takes, there isn’t a lot of choice in the development process.

Alabama has been successful under Saban because of his ability to evaluate, recruit and develop players. Talented players interested in getting better want to become part of a team and program, that by design, provides the best opportunity for team success and for their individual development.

Once a team is selected it’s absolutely essential the teambuilding process commences. Every team is made up of a group of individuals and it’s a head coach’s job to unite the group as one by having them embrace a clear purpose, process and set of shared core values & beliefs. One of the most important components of team building is the defining, sharing, and operationalizing of the coach’s core set of values and beliefs for the team.

A head coach’s job can be broken down into four buckets of work, essentially; operations management, applied science, coaching, and lastly but most importantly culture.

The 4 Buckets of a Coach’s Work

1) Operations Management – Every head coach must operate within the financial limits (budget) of their approved budget as part of their management responsibility. Communications both internal and external are part of the daily routine. Managing events, practices and tournaments are part of the administrative duties associated with the role among others.

Image courtesy Brock University

Every head coach is tasked with the responsibility of assembling and developing the best possible team. It’s not an easy task. Assembling the best team doesn’t necessarily mean recruiting the players with the most talent. Talent takes an athlete only so far. Coaches are tasked with selecting and developing players who will fit into the culture of the team. Evaluating and recruiting players to a team is a key part of the equation. As important, if not more . . .

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