Team Building and Positive Team Culture for Student Athletes

Sep 10th, 2015

Positive Team Culture and Team Building for Student Athletes

Team building for student athletes is about more than just physical training. Coaches need to be proactive in leading the development of a positive and beneficial team culture.

A culture is the expression of a team’s values, attitudes, and beliefs about sports and competition. It determines whether, for example, the team’s focus is on fun, mastery, or winning or whether it promotes individual accomplishment or team success. The culture is grounded in an identified sense of mission and shared goals, for instance, the goal of qualifying for a regional championship or winning a state title.

The culture creates norms of acceptable behavior on a team, either explicitly or implicitly conveying to members what is allowed and what is not. These norms can dictate to team members how to behave, communicate, cooperate, and deal with conflict. When clear norms are established, everyone on a team is more likely to abide by them.

Very importantly, the culture creates the atmosphere that permeates every aspect of a team’s experience. Is the atmosphere relaxed or intense? Light-hearted or competitive? Supportive or competitive?

All of these qualities of a culture have real implications for how the team functions, how its members get along, and, crucially, how the athletes on the team perform and the results they get. When a team has a defined culture that is understood by all of its members, they feel an implicit pressure (in the good sense) to support that culture. Dr. Jim Taylor – Building a Positive and High-Performing Sports Team Culture

Positive team culture does not happen overnight or even organically. It requires the commitment and participation of everyone from the coaches and assistant coaches, to the administrators, to team leaders and members, and even the parents. Positive reinforcement and acknowledgement that all members contribute in different ways to the success of the team are important components in building a winning team. Individuals in team sports may excel, but the team wins, not just individual members.

Especially with student athletes, acknowledgement of the importance of each team member’s role is crucial. A winning goal or touchdown or swim meet is the sum of all the plays and parts that went into the game or competition. Giving every position equal value gives team members confidence in the coach and the culture. 


South Shore Diving Team Firewalk with Fire Power Seminars

It has been our privilege and delight at Fire Power Seminars to work with student leaders and student athletes in several events that included reinforcement of team. Activities are crafted for team building events that positively reinforce the sum of the team. Working together, using communication effectively, and achieving success are part of our student empowerment seminars. Overcoming fear, like in our fire walks, and providing breakthroughs in our board breaking events have been just a few of the powerful moments that student athletes have experienced with us. 

“Since your seminar – I had 23 kids make Nationals and had 10 divers make Nationals on the 3-meter springboard just 2 days after your seminar!  Simply amazing!

“… I think, as parents and teachers, we can often mitigate learning under the guise of protection when in fact we are denying the same lessons we had to learn ourselves growing up. We actually end up putting our fears on others instead of facing them. Your seminar forces people to face their fears while focusing on the courage to move forward!” South Shore Diving Testimonial from: Craig Dolloff, Head Coach

Are you ready to improve your team culture and truly take it to the next winning level? We offer a broad menu of empowerment options; participants may break boards with their bare hands, or bend iron bars as if they were rubber. And once they know that they can accomplish those “impossible” feats, is there anything they can’t accomplish?

Fire Power Seminars is looking forward to more Student Empowerment events for 2015-2016 and we are actively scheduling events into 2016. We have experience working with Student Athletes as a group. Please contact us with any questions about having an event at your school for your athletic teams!

Karen Pfeffer
Karen is passionate about sharing powerful programs on communication, empowerment, team building and transformation. With a father from Kansas and a mother from Puerto Rico, Karen has a unique cultural mix that has inspired her to challenge stereotypes and “push the envelope” at every opportunity. She co-founded Fire Power Seminars with Connie Phelan in 2006 to empower individuals, organizations, and companies to achieve more than they ever thought possible.

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