Team Culture: It goes beyond the athletes on the team
When you hear the words " Team Culture" what comes to your mind?
Is it your team culture, the team you play with, the team you coach or is it the team you support as a parent?
There are numerous amounts of documents and studies that surround the theory of creating a positive team culture but in this particular blog I want to speak to the pieces of the team that make a POSITIVE Team Culture.
Those pieces are the Athlete, The Parent and The Coach.
Lets start with the Athlete.
First lets identify what type of athlete you are on your team.
A. Are you the girl that ALWAYS shows up? That knows that in order to be her best she has to do the things daily to keep her leaning into the good and the bad to truly understand what she is capable of.
B. Maybe you are the girl who can't get past her failures and it takes about 4 other high performers to lift you up...to "get you out of your head?"
C. Heck, maybe you are one of the high performers on your team!
In any sense you have to constantly be aware that you are playing a team sport. In order for a team to work well together, to build a positive team culture you have to be willing to show up the best way you can...not that you know how too. Why not "the best way you know how too?" Its simple you should ALWAYS be learning and never allow yourself to be stuck on one aspect of growth other than to constantly be growing!
Personal example: If you only brush your teeth twice a day and then you start to get cavities, what should you be adding to your dental hygiene? (Keep in mind I am not a dentist)...just a person who didn't have one cavity in her life until she was 32 years old and then suddenly she (I) had 9! Yup! Speaking from experience here, I had to add flossing daily to my regimen in order to be better at my dental hygiene. I also had to quite chewing ice. It was told to me by my dentist that the crunching of ice basically compacted the food in my back teeth, hence where the cavities started.
Now lets bring it back to a softball example. Lets say you are a pitcher and you only pitch on game days and when Coach has you throw a bull pen at practice. Do you think by only doing that you are going to throw more consistently let alone actually hit your spots and lets not forget practicing the pressure in practice to throw a great game. As a coach of 23 years and counting specifically in pitching and also being a pitcher myself...NO you are not going to do anything good for yourself let alone your team.
This is where as the athlete you have to be willing to do more vs only doing what you know to do in order to grow and be the teammate that you want to play with.
What if you are the athlete on the team that gets in her head, tends to stay there too long all while sucking the energy out of her entire team by living in her own pitty party all from an error 5 innings ago?? I know it sounds horrible but this is truly what happens. What team culture are you building by allowing yourself to do that? A bad one. Soon enough your teammates will lo-key start to despite you and well not want to play with you anymore. This also happens off the field too.
So what can you do to stay out of your head and keep yourself from staying hung up on an error...insert my good ol' college days here.... #history
I encourage all of you AS A TEAM in order to build the TEAM CULTURE of staying present to write #history on the top of your cleats. Why the top of you cleats? It's simple because your head drops when you make an error or let your team down in anyway...let alone let yourself and your personal expectations down. As your head is down you will see the word "history" and know in that moment that that play is over...it is simply HISTORY! By all means be my guest to live for the next play that is waiting to be made vs living in the last play that you failed to make.
Now I want to speak to the high performers on the team! Is that you? Well if you are so boldly to call yourself a high performer on your team then I want you to think about what you bring to the team? Not the X's and the O's but the INTANGABLE "thing" to the team.
Side note here: this is a word that one of my fellow Coaches and friend uses a lot not just on his softball teams culture but in his businesses on supporting his employees to stand out more and be bought into being a part of something bigger than themselves.
Not the fact that you hit your growth spurt before 90% of your teammates so you can hit harder, you throw harder..etc...