EVERY COACH HAS A COMMON DESIRE THAT HIS TEAM WILL BE MORE THAN JUST A TEAM.
WE WANT TO BE A FAMILY.
That all sounds good on paper and when we talk about it, but it’s not so easy to actually do. Families have unique qualities that bond them together and there is an immeasurable amount of trust among them. Each person needs to be willing to sacrifice their own comfort for the overall health of the team.
1. SPEND QUALITY TIME WITH EACH OTHER
This may seem like an easy one. Our teams spend every day together at practice, workouts, and on the bus to games. But there is a big difference between “being with each other” and “investing in each other.” There needs to come a time when each person realizes their role in the investment. We can’t be halfhearted if we want to fulfill our role in the family. We need to be all in. Our time with each other can’t be out of requirement, but instead it needs to be because we truly want to be there for our teammate. If we want to see our teams become family then we need to cherish our inner circle and put them before ourselves.
2. ENGAGE IN OPEN COMMUNICATION
Every family talks about hard things. Families aren’t afraid to confront one another, but they do it in a way that is respectful and meaningful. There is no family that is perfect and we need to understand that we are always under construction. Our growth from a team to a family is an ongoing project and open communication with each other will allow this growth to occur. Family member’s mistakes need to be held accountable and everyone involved needs to be willing to take criticism. When we confront each other out of love and necessity, we are showing humility and care for our family. Everyone needs to be conscious of when and where communication takes place as well. Families need to keep communication within the circles of the group and can't spread personal information to those not associated with the team. Open communication can only occur when there is an established trust with everyone.
3. NURTURE EACH OTHER
Encouragement is essential to any family. The more we pick each other up the more likely we are to have a positive impact on everyone. Not only does encouragement boost our morale, but it also gives everyone a sense of security knowing that we can trust one another. Not everyone on your team will have the same interests, background, or dreams. In many cases these differences will cause friction, but in families those differences are nurtured and accepted. We always have each other’s back. When one or two guys decide they want to take it easy on a certain task, the rest of the family needs to encourage a better mindset and work ethic from them. When each person does their job, the overall success of the team will increase.
4. PARTICIPATE IN MEANINGFUL TRADITIONS
What family doesn’t have traditions? It’s a common theme that is timeless for families and honored without question. Traditions are celebrated by those who are part of the family and it really doesn’t matter what other people think. We can’t be afraid to be silly and have fun with this because it’s what makes families special. Find things that you can celebrate together and is common only to the members of your family.
Families laugh and families cry, but they are never broken and will always be there for each other. If we want our program to be a family then we need to be willing to do things that make families great. Trust each other, love each other, and make other's a priority in your locker room. It’s not always convenient and it’s not always natural, but it’s always worth it.