Squad Locker: 3 Elements of a Championship Culture


What does it take for a team to work together? A championship culture. You may think it’s all about winning, but the real way to foster a championship culture goes a lot deeper than that.

1. ATHLETICISM

There’s a difference between athleticism and natural ability. Molding the culture to support athleticism means encouraging your team to strive for athletic growth, no matter the starting point. On the flip side, this also means not letting players rest on their laurels or natural abilities. Athleticism incorporates mobility, body awareness, strategy and decision-making. There isn’t a player out there who masters all the pillars. Recognizing that and constantly driving toward improvement is what embodies athleticism and championship culture.

2. THE RIGHT KIND OF COMPETITIVENESS

Players should focus on competing with personal and team bests, not against each other. Coaches should channel natural competitive drive into actionable improvements. Players need to work hard, and if they fail, they take the L and work even harder to come back better next time.

“You can lose when you outscore somebody in a game,” famous UCLA basketball coach John Wooden once said, “and you can win when you’re outscored.” The difference is the mindset and what you do with wins and losses.







3. TEAM PRIDE

Teamwork lets us do more and do it better, but team pride makes us want to do it. So how can you foster pride in your team? There are a couple of easy ways:

  • Support unity. The very first indicator of a unified group is its uniform and team gear. Your team will feel proud when it can act and look like a cohesive group, and others will notice immediately, too.

  • Sing your praises. Announce your team’s wins and improvements to your community. Not only will this make players feel good, but it will also give your community an opportunity to show its support with spirit wear. Nothing makes a player feel more proud or more like a part of something bigger than seeing his or her friends, parents and supporters show up and cheer them on repping their team swag.

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