The dictionary defines fusion as the act or process of fusing; the state of being fused. STACK defines fusion as the act of becoming one with your team. Ask any great team the key to their success, and the answer will include fusion. There are endless ways to build it off the field, too. Check out how some top teams have achieved fusion, and try working similar routines with your own crew.
Prior to the Milwaukee Bucks’ ’05-’06 playoff run, the team’s players were mostly strangers, until they started planning regular outings. Group dinners were favored, during which rookies and vets could get to know each other on a more personal level. Similarly, Stanford University’s baseball coaching staff used food as a catalyst to build chemistry with their 2006 squad. The result was a compatible [and well-fed] team that took the NCAA tournament by storm, knocking off second- and third-ranked teams on their way to the Corvallis Super Regional.
The STACK way: Ask your coach about implementing a pre-game team meal. Chowing down with the guys is a great way to get to know everyone while preparing for a game.
Compete in a Different Way
During the 2003-04 season, despite a plethora of talented stars, the LA Lakers had little or no team chemistry. To build it, Coach Phil Jackson bussed his players from the Staples Center to Oahu Air Force Base for a good, old-fashioned game of paintball. Devising and executing winning strategies on the paintball field helped the Lakers get it together for their battles on the court, where they ultimately claimed the Western Conference Championship and a trip to the NBA Finals.
The STACK way: Gather the team for an off-field experience that not only uses their athletic skills and engages their competitive spirit, but also allows them to have fun. Paintball, bowling, rock climbing, laser tag and golf scrambles are all great ways to bond with teammates while sharpening their competitive edge.
Magic Johnson once said, “Ask not what your teammates can do for you. Ask what you can do for your teammates.” But don’t just think about what you can do for your team while in uniform; bonding off the court will make you better teammates between the lines.