Among the factors that contribute to team success—such as talent, size, strength, and speed—lies a not so obvious but extremely important factor: team chemistry. The way a team meshes together can be the difference between an ordinary season and an outstanding one.
Teams can be comprised of players with above average talent, but they may never go anywhere without the willingness to come together and work unselfishly for the common good.
So, how can coaches build and develop team chemistry? Use the following tips to develop a shared sense of pride, loyalty, respect, and cooperation:
- Get the team involved in a community service project. Working for a common goal off the field brings team members together.
- Travel overnight to camps, tournaments, etc. This allows the team to get to know each other as friends as well as teammates.
- Plan team activities such as a pizza party or a movie night, or watch a game together. Similar to #2, this forges a bond among the players away from the field. No one wants to let their teammates down, but it’s even harder when they’re also your friends.
- Use a collaborative approach when making decisions about team rules, penalties, and rewards. Making decisions together as a team allows players to pursue goals together.
- Allow players to provide feedback when watching game film or reviewing performance. Constructive criticism from peers gives a different perspective and makes the player giving his opinion feel valued.
- Assign teammates as tutors for players who need extra help in an academic area. Helping each other gives players more reasons to trust each other.
Overall, provide opportunities for shared experiences and memories. The team should be more than just a bunch of players; it should be a family.
Learn more about creating team chemistry: