As we learned from the popular Ted Lasso series on soccer (and life), the power of belief is huge. As evidence, the show’s famous BELIEVE sign has now been replicated all over the country. We believe it’s shorthand for core values–the  guiding principles that shape a team’s performance and coaching strategies while fostering team unity and positive team culture. Let’s explore the four essential core values that every winning team follows.

Heart of a Champion:

Legendary tennis player  Billie Jean King once said, "Champions keep playing until they get it right." The heart of a champion is driven by an unwavering commitment to excellence and a relentless desire to improve. Cultivating a champion's mindset requires both coaches and athletes to set high standards, embrace challenges, and persevere in the face of adversity.

Coaches can instill the heart of a champion by fostering intrinsic motivation within their athletes. By helping them find their passion and purpose in the sport, coaches can nurture self-motivation, which fuels long-term success. Incorporating motivational quotes and anecdotes from accomplished athletes can inspire athletes to tap into their inner drive and strive for greatness.

Mental Toughness:

Soccer coach and former player Jurgen Klopp once stated, "Mental toughness is doing the right thing for the team when it's not the best thing for you." Mental toughness is the ability to stay focused, composed, and resilient in high-pressure situations. It enables athletes to overcome obstacles, manage stress, and perform at their peak even under challenging circumstances.

Sports psychology programs and working with a sport psychologist can greatly enhance an athlete's mental toughness. Techniques such as visualization, positive self-talk, and goal setting can help athletes build confidence, manage sports performance anxiety, and develop mental resilience. Coaches should integrate mental toughness training into their coaching strategies to empower athletes to thrive in intense competitions.

Unity and Team Culture:

Volleyball coach and player Karch Kiraly once said, "The essence of volleyball is teamwork." Building a strong team culture based on unity and collaboration is crucial for success. Athletes who genuinely support and trust each other create a positive environment that enhances performance and fosters camaraderie.

Coaches can foster team unity by promoting open communication, encouraging mutual respect, and emphasizing the importance of each player's role. Organizing team-building activities and creating a shared vision and purpose can bring the team closer together. Celebrating individual and team achievements promotes a sense of belonging, motivating athletes to perform at their best.

Self-Confidence and Motivation:

Retired British track and field standout Jessica Ennis-Hill said, “The only one who can tell you ‘you can’t win’ is you and you don’t have to listen.” Self-confidence is a vital attribute that allows athletes to perform at their peak. When athletes believe in their abilities and have a positive mindset, they are more likely to push past their limits and achieve extraordinary results. Furthermore, self-confidence is closely intertwined with motivation, serving as the driving force behind an athlete's commitment and dedication.

Coaches play a pivotal role in instilling self-confidence and motivation in their athletes. By providing constructive feedback, setting achievable goals, and emphasizing the importance of incremental progress, coaches can empower athletes to believe in their potential. Recognizing and celebrating small victories along the way helps athletes maintain their motivation and build a strong foundation for long-term success.

To create a winning team, coaches and athletes must prioritize the development of core values that encompass both on and off the court aspects. By embracing the heart of a champion, cultivating mental toughness, fostering unity and positive team culture, and nurturing self-confidence and motivation, teams can unlock their full potential and achieve extraordinary results.

We would love to hear about what you believe along with your core values so we can share more broadly. Join the Sport Fuels Life community to access exclusive resources, connect with like-minded athletes and coaches, and stay updated with the latest trends in sports performance and coaching. Together, we can create a supportive network that fuels your passion for the game and elevates your journey to success.