Stacy Danley Discusses Ways to Foster a Positive Team Culture

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Sports coaches are in a unique position to play an instrumental role in the development of young athletes. As per Stacy Danley coaches are not there to simply teach the fundamentals of the game. Rather, they provide athletes with the support and guidance they need to understand the importance of supporting each other, and become a capable team player. However, it is important to understand that creating a positive team culture where athletes are excited to show up for practice and game day is not as simple as staying positive when interacting with the athletes. Team culture is built over time, while following certain positive practices.

Stacy Danley talks about how to foster a positive team culture

The majority of sports teams do not have a negative culture, but they also do not maintain a positive team culture. Developing a team culture that is positive, fun, and unique will not be possible if one just goes through the motions of holding a team practice and simply require the team to show up at games. Coaches have to make an effort to create a vibrant team culture. They can start by talking about games that did not go well and try to figure out how positive psychology can be used to work around that. Or, coaches can be more intentional about making practice games fun and enjoyable.

Here are a few ways coaches may foster a positive team culture:

  • Encourage feedback: Coaches should provide a way through which coaches can give their honest feedback during the season. The feedback can be submitted anonymously, and athletes should be given the freedom to give both positive and negative comments. Encouraging feedback is a good way to ensure that the athletes are provided with the opportunity to share their concerns without fear of being singled out. Coaches should not wait until the end of the season to do this feedback season. It is better to have it in the season or mid-season, so that appropriate tweaks and changes can be made to the training before the season is over.
  • Set clear expectations: Prior to the season begins; coaches should try to communicate their expectations to the players in an efficient manner. They must let the athletes know about how they expect them to behave, both on and off the field. This shall aid the players to gain a better understanding of how the team is supposed to look like and how their behavior will directly impact it.
  • Tailor the coaching style to the team’s needs: Even if a coach thinks that they are doing everything right, there can always be an athlete in the team who does not respond well to your coaching style. Hence, the coach may have to make an effort to train certain players differently.
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According to Stacy Danley, coaches should try to shake things up within the team from time to time so that the athletes get to know each other better. If the players know each other well and are friendly enough, it would certainly help in building a positive team culture.

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