for Sports Professionals

Providing Content for Sports Officials, Coaches, and Athletes

What does development of teamwork mean?

Discipline of Teams
by Jon Katzenbach and Douglas Smith discuss the question:

“Teamwork represents a set of values that encourage listening and responding constructively to the views expressed by others, giving others the benefit of the doubt, providing support, and recognizing the interests and achievements of others”  The article also mentions defining
“common purpose, a set of performance goals, and an approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable”
“Specific goals allow a team to achieve small wins as it pursues its broader purpose.”
How can your coaching achievements be "Extraordinary"?

Leadership Challenge

by Kouzes and Posner says:

“Extraordinary achievement [takes] the active involvement and support of many people"

Therefore, you must:

foster collaboration

strengthen others

recognize contribution

The authors explain that successful coaches:

“developed capabilities of the team and fostered self-confidence through the faith demonstrated in letting other people lead”

The Coaching Corner:

Develop A Successful Sports Team


Author Peter J. Schroeder (2008) assesses how ten (10) NCAA Division I coaches guided previously unsuccessful teams to championship levels within five (5) years in, “Changing Team Culture: The Perspectives of Ten Successful Head Coaches.”

Schroeder states, A qualitative analysis indicated that these turnarounds featured changes in team culture (p. 63).


The following leadership behaviors used by coaches were found to maximize a team’s ability to achieve success.

- an integrative, leader-centered model focused on forming symbolic and interpretive elements of team membership;

-developing a team culture based on the social and psychological environment;

-developing a pattern of shared assumptions that guides behavior;             -adapting organizational values and symbols to promote team
values in concert with a team environment;

-reframing the meaning of team membership to create organizational and team culture changes.


Using these practical ideas for effective coaching, how a coach can maximize the team’s ability to achieve success?

A synthesis of dynamics that encourage team improvement, essential elements can be refined to include a coach’s:

a) leadership behaviors: such as developing a core set of values,

b) establishing team culture: social and psychological environment, and 

c) team improvement: symbolic and interpretive elements of
team membership (Schroeder, 2008, pp. 65-67). 


Simplification and synthesis of topics is ideal to create more effective lists:  Successful coaching includes numerous overarching themes
of behavioral, cultural, social, psychological, and philosophical change.


Cultural perspectives have more elusive fundamental explanations. Complex content may also be accomplished through mediums such as transcripts, memos, matrices, category and sub-category diagrams, tables, charts, ‘brain-storms’, interviews, anecdotes, or a series of questions that guide team culture change, and by representing symbolic and interpretive elements that lead to successful coaching

                                                            -Schroeder, 2008, p. 70

The primary method of Schroeder’s (2008) paper on successful coaching relies on semi-structured interviews to include a wide range of topics where responses are allowed to shape questions and then result in more focused discussion.

Coaching perspectives in each case found that coaches were:

1) attuned to the concept of team culture which they attempted to modify,

2) coaches spent time developing and using a variety of tactics to facilitate change, and;

3) cultural change seemed to be accelerated by the unique environment of intercollegiate athletics (Schroeder, 2008, p. 84).


The insights that successful coaching stems from creating a team culture, that time and tactics are required to accomplish change, and the variations for differences among youth, v. high-school, v. college levels, each define and generate possibilities about, which coaching tactics are successful, could be examined further.

Coaching Issues: Quotes by Kouzes and Posner

Goals vs. Values

“They both have to do with what’s expected.
Goals connote something shorter-term...
Values or principles... connote something more enduring.”

“Leadership is not a solo act… the winning strategies will be based upon the “we not I” philosophy.”

“Create a climate of trust... At the heart of collaboration is trust.”
“Trusting leaders nurture openness, involvement, personal satisfaction, and high levels of commitment to excellence.”

“It’s trust in people that will make the difference between the new winners and losers.”

The "we" Philosophy:
"Reinforce shared values and build a sense of community"
“Reward joint effort”
“Always say we”
“Your task as a leader is to help other people reach mutual goals, not your goals, and to get there with a sense that we did it together.”

Focus and Recognition:
“Focus on clear standards... stimulates and motivates the internal drive within each individual.”
“A study of the winningest high school and college athletic coaches reveals that they pay great attention to providing real-time feedback on their player’s performance and will, as appropriate, recognize and reward outstanding contributions.”
“Being a Pygmalion (friendly, pleasant, positive, attentive, and responsive to questions) entails developing a winner’s attitude in those around you.”
Useful Adages:

“A team is more than the sum of its parts.”

-Katzenbach and Smith

“Transforming broad directives into specific and measurable goals is the surest first step for a team trying to shape a purpose meaningful to its members.”

-Katzenbach and Smith

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
-Ursula LeGuin

“To instill confidence in [team] and help them recognize their abilities,  understand what each person aspires to and enjoys doing.”
-Sanjay Bali's challenge in the Indian Navy

Thereby, Sanjay was able to assign people roles with which they felt comfortable and also which were “mutually beneficial” to the team.
Sanjay tells us, "this technique developed cooperation and team confidence."