Sports Team Culture
Articles and Videos
If you work with or in a team, this section is a must. We cover pre-season preparation, the development of teams, team selection, the secrets of great teams as well as all things related to building strong athlete engagement from team loyalty to building athlete responsibility. You may find our sections for our most recent articles, resources and materials, latest newsletters, or 5 Minutes with Bo Hanson video series valuable too.
We are incredibly proud and excited with the news we recently received from the Australian Institute of Training and Development (AITD). Each year they preside over the national Excellence Awards and Athlete Assessments have just been announced as one of eight finalists in the Best Leadership Development Program Award. Prior winners range from large corporations and Australian household brands such as Coles, Blackmores Institute, Volkswagen Group, Government departments and top Universities, so it is truly an honor to be named a Finalist now and we have our fingers crossed for the winner announcement later this year.
How did we get to a point where the CEO has confidence in the people she relies on? How did a group of people become a team with shared goals and a sense of excitement about navigating the challenges that the journey might bring? The answer lies in the process and so you can see how the specialists in the people side of sport connect their people to the organization’s goals – I will take you inside our latest Team Day at Athlete Assessments.
Leadership is not anchored to a nominal position or the domain of the select few within a team, according to Sarah Leberman, Professor of Leadership at Massey University, New Zealand. Also a Fulbright Scholar and the author of highly significant research on leadership, Leberman specialises in applying the knowledge surrounding leadership to the sport space and in particular women and girls.
So, you’ve just decided on the leadership role or roles within your team. Now the journey begins! What do you want your leaders to do? How do you expect them to carry out the role? You might have your own ideas and that’s fantastic. Maybe you’ve coached a team with effective leadership, and you know what works. Or perhaps you’d like your athletes to role model someone around them. But, if you’re wondering what effective leadership looks like in sport, I’ll give you a short method that I know works well. It’s crucial to know what’s important, what impacts performance.
There are some non-negotiable principles teams need to have in place if they are to achieve success. Firstly, every unique team must have a set of values they agree to live by. Secondly, they have rules to co-operate within a framework. What’s interesting is how many of these teams fail to live their values, or only live them to some degree. The special few, live them to the degree required to achieve success.
Does your program breed toughness in your team? In this concise video, Hanson simplifies the dialogue around toughness in sport by providing a short definition of what we mean when we talk toughness. He describes what tough athletes look like, and the ways in which this attribute can separate and elevate performance. Hanson also presents effective strategies for athletes to utilize when they need to rely on their toughness and how to perform at their best when it matters the most. The video also covers techniques for coaches to facilitate toughness development with the current generation in an era that doesn’t make it easy.
Every team has a culture, some cultures support high-performance while others simply grow around dominant personalities in the team. In this video, Hanson simplifies the dialogue around culture in sport with a succinct definition of the term. He describes what culture looks like, and how to identify it in the sporting context. Together, Hanson and Antoniolli talk about a Coach’s role in guiding team culture. They question whether the team or its individual players’ level of skill and experience has a bearing on team culture. Hanson examines the fundamental components of a successful culture and explains what can happen when a team culture is left to develop on its own.
After a stellar playing career that included 4 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, Kristi Stefanoni, Head Coach of the UMass Softball Program, has solidified her position as a stellar coach with another successful year and being rewarded with the title of 2018 Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year.
Every team needs to set aside time to re-connect, review goals and revisit values. Athlete Assessments is no different. We have four Team Days a year and the first one for 2019 saw us rock climbing, getting to know each other a little better from a DISC perspective and making some tough “Decisions” over a lunch menu!
Congratulations! You’ve just been recruited as the new Head Coach. Whatever circumstances led to your appointment, the fact remains; you need to turn this team around – fast. You’ve got to get important elements of the team on side and develop what’s left of the team culture into a culture that you want. A culture that develops growth and delivers performance. There are six non-negotiable elements to success in this situation.
The movement towards “looking beyond skill and talent” must be backed by all Coaches who want to develop a concrete set of behavioral and non-technical criteria that support their team while they reach for their goals. Each Coach looks for something different in their athletes and in this article we look at the advice Mel Downer of Basketball Queensland, Australia gives to emerging athletes.
In a revealing interview with Dr. Jen Fraser, for End Bullying & Abuse in Sports Summit, Bo Hanson 3 x Olympic medalist and 4 x Olympian explains why a Coach’s bullying tactics will not create a pathway for personal growth, long-term results, mental skills or mental toughness.
When the world’s biggest football magazine, FourFourTwo, took a look at team chemistry, writer Ben Welch spoke to premiership winning players, like Crystal Palace midfielder Yohan Cabaye and Celtic’s Musso Dembele for their insight into the unbreakable bonds that build team chemistry. He also spoke to Arsenal’s premiership winning Coach,
Athlete Assessments’ Senior Coaching Consultant, Bo Hanson, walks his talk at the organization’s Team Day. In this article we give you exclusive access to our Team Day, a day we set aside to review our internal scoreboard, establish goals for the coming year, assess our achievements, spend time with new team members and revisit our purpose.
Which is exactly what Saint Mary’s College of California’s Head Coach Tim O’Brien achieved when he led the Gaels to their third National Championship victory this year.
It’s a big deal to turn a team around as a first year Head Coach. It’s an even bigger deal to do this and get your team to the National Championships. And when it’s the first time that team has reached the NCAA Nationals since 1998, well you don’t get much better than that.
Have you ever wondered what successful Coaches do differently? How they manage to amass title after title and build a team culture athletes want to be part of?
The first thing we noticed with winning Coaches is that they never sit back and become complacent. Instead, the fact that they don’t is what sets them apart from the rest. Winning Coaches are always learning, always striving for the 0.1% and this set them up for success game after game, year after year.
And that’s exactly what University of Florida’s Head Women’s Tennis Coach Roland Thornqvist has done.
It takes a different skillset and a different mindset. Many incredible athletes have tried to make the transition and been unsuccessful. But there are a few who have got it right. Elissa Kent is one of these few.
Head Coach Ali Carey-Oliver achieved unprecedented success at Mt. San Antonio College after her women’s Volleyball program won their first ever Conference Championship with a perfect 8-0 conference record and an outstanding 20-4 season overall.
The book GRIT made it onto many coaches reading lists over the summer (including ours) and there has been significant media coverage on the topic too. The interest is well founded as more than ever before, Coaches are unanimous in saying that their athletes are lacking resilience, they aren’t as ‘tough’ as their teams in previous times have been. And not just physically tough, mentally tough. But is ‘grit’ really the solution needed? Has the word ‘grit’ become too interchangeable that the real definition has been lost?
Accountability in sport is doing what you say you’re going to do and executing the task to the best of your ability. Then being able to put your hand up and say ‘this is what I need to do better’ if you don’t get it right.
Being accountable is not making excuses, not blaming others or whinging and complaining. Accountability in sport is taking ownership of something and making sure you ‘know your job and do your job’ 100% of the time.
Athletes and coaches understand the importance of each individual player performing at their personal best and to striving to be the best player they can be. But what does it mean to be the “best player for the team”?
During preparation for the 2004 Olympics, Athlete Assessments Bo Hanson was selected in the Men’s Eight Rowing team for Australia. He was performing at his personal best and for a period, was ranked as the number 1 athlete in Australia.