August means back to school with a new roster of athletes—some veterans and some newcomers--for the fall season. It’s a critical opportunity to set the tone for the coming months and instill the concept that success can be had at any level of age, or experience.  Here are some suggestions from Sport Fuels Life coaches on this important topic.

In a group of twenty athletes, you’re likely to find one to five leaders with varying types of influence. It’s essential that those leaders demonstrate consistency and help focus on a common goal.  Your leadership in helping others buy into the team goal is crucial to set the stage for the upcoming season. 

This also must be done in tandem with individual achievement objectives. Tapping into strengths and desires of each individual will help. Discovering their core values and reasons regarding why they choose to play this sport is important to tap that motivation.  The saying that “no one cares how much you know until they know you care” is particularly true with coaching athletes and keeping them motivated. 

To recap, keep in mind these three key steps to help build your team:

  1. Find a common team goal

What is something that your team is working towards? Think big and set the bar high! Share the message with your team and determine your collective path to achieving that goal.

  1. Learn and understand the driver for everyone

Get to know your athletes and what motivates them. What are their goals? What is important to them? Consider their personal core values; be aware of these in your communication and coaching style with them.

  1. Apply individual motivations and encourage them towards the team goal

Know that each individual has strengths to add to the overall success of the team. Keep them motivated by reminding them of their personal why and holding them accountable to the team’s objectives.

Looking for more resources on how to build your team? Tune into our podcast coming soon with lacrosse standout and coach Kate Leavell on “celebrating individuality” on a team. You’ll also want to check out our podcast with Sean Swarner (first cancer survivor to stand on top of the world) and get some tips on assessing core values to achieve personal goals!