Team Culture – The Next Step

By November 6, 2019Uncategorized

The Missouri state high school girl’s tennis season is now over. I plan to make time again for more blog posts. I intended to do a follow-up to the last blog post on team culture in a more-timely manner. The intent of the follow-up blog post is to give you examples of how a team could define its culture. Ultimately the team culture centers around what are acceptable norms of behavior and what type of team atmosphere will be present?

The coaches and the team leaders, or the team itself, should discuss what are the core values for the team for the upcoming season. Then develop a team mission statement. After the core values and the team mission statement are established, it’s time to monitor if the team is living them. The coach and the team leaders should periodically review the core values and the mission statement and assess if the team is sticking to them.

Our Rock Bridge Girls Tennis Team established the following core values for the just concluded season. The acronym was “FRIC.” The acronym makes no sense to me but that’s what the team members wanted to call it.

F – Fighting Spirit compete with a fighting spirit; have some grit to your game.
R – Respect show respect for your teammates, the opponent, and the game
I – Integrity what are you doing when no one is watching? Play fair and make the proper effort whether a coach is watching or not.
C – Commitment Make an honest effort in practice and in matches on a regular  basis. It’s not a sometimes thing, it’s a regular thing.

After establishing the core values for the team, the team leaders and the coach decided to go with the same team mission statement we had for the prior few years.
The team mission statement was “Embrace the Journey… Together.” I believe we go on a journey together each season. Every team goes on a journey. Tennis is more of an individual sport, yet we try to make it a “team” journey, unlike they have experienced before high school tennis. Let’s go on a journey where we support each other, we strive together in a competitive arena, and we value becoming the best we can be.

In conclusion, “the next step” means put team culture into action with application. The team identifies what they aspire to be by establishing core values and a team mission statement. The team should review them periodically but most importantly live them.