As a coach, your role within a team is not only to be a mentor, trainer, and guide, but it’s also to create a positive and empowering team culture. This is important because a team’s culture has a huge impact on the way your athletes perform, interact, and contribute to the team as a whole.

We like the way League Network puts it – identifying your teams culture goes beyond the want and desire to win a match. It’s more about what your athletes beliefs, attitudes and values are.

To start building a positive and empowering team culture, here’s where you should start.

Reach out to your team

We’re talking about ‘team’ culture here, and that means it shouldn’t be defined just by you as a coach, it should be defined by the whole team. So to determine what your team culture is all about, you’ll need to have a discussion with your team about what they believe are the characteristics that will lead them to success. After your discussion with the team, you’ll be able to figure out the types of characteristics that are important to them.

Help them understand that conflict is natural

The fact is, conflict is bound to arise in team sports. So don’t expect or teach your team to avoid it. However, it’s all about how you handle the situation. It’s more important to help the team understand the best ways to deal with it. In most cases, when teams get through conflict, they come off a whole lot better on the other side. So let your athletes know that if they experience any issues of conflict, that talking openly and honestly, and allowing for constructive criticism is the best way to deal with such situations.

Ensure the whole team is apart of the culture

The only way to build a positive and empowering team environment is if everyone understands and is apart of the culture. It’s everyones responsibility to uphold the teams values and morals. And if each member is led by the same motivations, the easier it will be to create a positive team culture and environment that allows them to grow and become better athletes.

Want more tips on how to improve your coaching skills? Check out our blog on 5 ways to help improve your coaching technique