Take Charge of Your Team Culture

culturePhil Niemela shares 20 messages that coaches can use to improve the culture of their program.

Coaches constantly send messages to their players, school, and community that shape the culture of their team/program. The clearer a coach is on the messages they send, the more effective those messages will be, and the more control they will have on their culture. Decide what you value and communicate it every day to the people in and around your program.

Here is a list of 20 messages I have seen and heard from successful coaches regarding shaping team culture:

  1. I lead by example
  2. I tell my players to be happy with who they are, but to always know they can change
  3. I believe that all players can and will improve if the desire and effort is there
  4. I treat all of my athletes with respect – as people and not just athletes
  5. I do not expect my athletes to be able to execute skills that I have not taught them
  6. I do not complain about, blame, or criticize my athletes
  7. I structure my season to develop and uncover the highest potential in all of my players
  8. I work to inspire a love of the game in my players
  9. I believe that talent is overrated – long live focused hustle
  10. I focus on what I can control
  11. I try to teach my athletes so well that they can lead themselves
  12. I prepare myself and my team for challenges and expect to overcome them
  13. It is the player’s team and I appreciate being a part of it
  14. I build an atmosphere of care and support within the team
  15. I believe that effort, attitude, and improvement are more important than outcomes
  16. I believe that mistakes are necessary for improvement to occur
  17. I continually monitor and reflect on my verbal and nonverbal messages
  18. I work to develop the players I desire in my program. I do not leave it to chance.
  19. I do not use exercise as a punishment because improving physical fitness is a reward
  20. I honor and value all the people that make my job easier (AD, manager, custodian, etc.)