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.
Bucknell University Athletics leading duo, Jen Kentera and Eline Vermeulen, on their department-wide approach to developing student-athlete leaders who succeed in their sport and in life.
Our team shares how we walked our talk by kickstarting our 2023 season with our annual team retreat to ensure team alignment, invest in each other, and deliver exceptional outcomes for the year ahead.
Every successful team, coach, and athlete has experienced the disappointment of multiple losses on their journey to victory. So what did Head Volleyball Coach, Kate Wood do to get her team across the line to accomplish their ultimate goal of obtaining a championship win? We sat down with Kate to find out!
Head Coach of Notre Dame Softball, Deanna Gumpf, and her awarded coaching staff share how their team challenge their understanding of DISC Profiling to go beyond the field and into a good old-fashioned bake-off.
Missouri State Head Softball Coach, Holly Hesse on her 35 years at the helm, what factors are crucial for program and student athlete success, and how to get the best out of the people around you.
The athlete transition cycle is natural, but what happens when transition looks more like transferring? We explore why athletes withdraw from teams and programs, how to read the signs, and best to navigate this situation if it does arise.
Founder of Athlete Assessments, Bo Hanson, sits down with Mississippi State Volleyball Head Coach, Julie Darty Dennis, and Director of Student-Athlete Leadership Development at the University of Michigan, Brian Townsend, to get the ‘how-to’ from the experts in athlete leadership.
Melissa Phillips, Head Coach of the London City Lionesses on understanding yourself as a coach to provide the foundation for athlete self-awareness, and how she uses DISC to enhance team and individual performance through purposeful recruitment and positioning.
In any industry, recruiting the right person to join your team is a challenging task, but when done right can be extremely rewarding. We spoke to a panel of head coaches who are experts in recruiting assistant coaches for their own programs. Think of this as the how-to for recruiting the right assistant coach, the effects it has on team culture, and why it’s part of a head coach’s role to get it right.
There’s no question that every individual has to be at their best in high-performance sport, but, if that is our only focus, we’re missing a critical ingredient essential for creating a successful team, and so the concept of being the best athlete for the team emerges.
When we look at leaders in any endeavor, we often see their success critically defined by their leadership philosophy, and when it comes to sport coaches it is exactly the same. Having a defined coaching philosophy is key to effective coaching (and leadership), but the process of developing and understanding your own philosophy is often sidelined. When your team relies on your performance as a coach as much as they do on technical execution for achieving a winning outcome, this process is a priority.
Creating and maintaining an effective team culture is critical to sustained success. So, if we define culture simply as ‘the way we behave around here’, we need to determine what is acceptable and what is not? But then as a coach, how do you sustain a culture or how do you deal with an athlete who acts in a way that opposes the culture you want?
Trust can be built through developing an understanding of one another and their position within the team. When we talk about team roles, we look at both technical and non-technical roles as being equally critical to a team’s success. While technical roles are the position an athlete plays on the field, non-technical roles refer to how the athletes make (or don’t make) a contribution to the team beyond their technical position.
The skill of decision making is closely linked to problem solving. For some athletes, making the right decisions at the right time is a well-developed skill, whilst other athletes find this process more challenging. Like any critical skill, the key to developing an individual’s decision making is to practice. So, where should an athlete practice their decision making? The answer is in training.
Captain or leadership group, how can you determine what the right structure for your team is? Who should be appointed as the leader and, what exactly does the person in the leadership role do? These were some of the critical leadership questions we unpacked in our recent open webinar, ‘Choosing Captains and Leadership Development Within Your Team’.
Going beyond what’s expected of you, is a part of what we value at Athlete Assessments. So, when it was suggested we do an aerial yoga class as our team building activity, we all jumped at the idea of getting out of our comfort zones (no pun intended…).
Darren’s contribution to Western Australia’s basketball program reflects his approach to developing and supporting athletes as they ‘form’. He explains that essentially his role is “to help athletes understand themselves, their teammates, coaches, and managers, so they can be more effective with their communications and be able to better adapt to situations.”
Here’s a positive to come out of Covid-19! Our client, Head Coach of the Utah Utes Volleyball team, Beth Launiere, took on a different challenge last year and collaborated with Leo Hopf to co-author the book, ‘Stop Competing And Start Winning: The Business Of Coaching’.
Athlete Assessments Team Day #1 2021; Team Day activity, using DISC profiling, developing communication, team work and some fun.
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.