Interim Executive Resources

Two More Team Building Secrets

This is the third article in a series regarding team building and I’m presenting concepts around Role Clarification and Relationship Management.  If you want to jump back to the other two articles, here are the links:  The Secret Behind Team Building and The Second Secret Behind Team Building.

Building a great youth soccer team is not magic. Sometimes it feels magical when everything comes together and the team is successful and having fun and developing and growing into young adults, but that’s emotion and part of the mystery of life.

Building a great youth soccer team does require work and discipline; a lot on the part of the players, and a lot on the part of the coach(es).  Let’s begin with coaching.  When a team first comes together, especially those new to the game, the players need to be taught rules and basic skills. This will get a team started, but will not lead to greatness.  In order for a team to improve its performance in competition, coaches need to assign roles to the players and build understanding in them regarding their role relative to others roles.

Without this basic ground work of Role Clarification and Relationship Management, individuals will do their best to win the game, but will lack a common view as to how the various parts of the team should work together to score goals.  Imagine a defensive line that doesn’t know that goalies can use their hands, or an outside forward that doesn’t know that they should cross the ball for the best shots on goal.

It is a coaching responsibility to see to it that every player is assigned a role on the field, knows how that role relates to the other player’s roles on the field, and that they know something about every role on the field, even if they may never play those positions.  If players are well versed on their own role and understand the roles around them, several benefits come to bear.

The first benefit is focus – by knowing your own role, you can concentrate on doing that role at its best and not worry about everything else.  The second benefit is coordination – through understanding of the roles that surround you, you can concentrate on play making and support.  Focus on the role and coordination between the roles brings about the ability to develop basic game strategies that are essential to a high performing team.

These two team building secrets – Role Clarification and Relationship Management – are not unique to the youth soccer environment.  In fact, these are basic requirements in every organization, whether it be sports, non-profits, businesses, institutions, causes, what have you.  In the beginning of every organized effort there is a period of “we all do everything” to some extent.  But to grow and prosper in any endeavor, there comes time to specialize people’s contributions and tie those separate contributions together in a common direction.

Role Clarification provides focus and Relationship Management provides coordination.  If these do not exist, the team or the organization or the effort will proceed in ineffective and inefficient ways that can be improved.  If you find yourself in one of these situations, ask yourself about Role & Relationships.  This might be a way to improve things.  And if you want some help or support in sorting through a difficult spot, then don’t hesitate to contact me.  That’s what I’m here for…

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