“People say to me all the time, ‘You have no fear.’ I tell them, ‘No, that’s not true. I’m scared all the time. You have to have fear in order to have courage. I’m a courageous person because I’m a scared person.”
At the start of every season, there is a sense of anticipation and optimism when setting goals and targets. Teams set out with a common purpose and set targets that they hope will help them to reach peak performance.
Being part of a “dressing room” is special, a dressing room is a place that brings people with different personalities, experiences together with a set purpose and identity.
In any sport, the successful groups are the ones who have moulded the collective with a focus on the group success rather than the individual. This isn’t an easy task as the dynamics are ever-changing in a team environment.
Building this collective bond takes time and more importantly, it involves shared experiences. This can be winning and losing together, sharing personal experiences and instances of shared resilience. Because of the time, it takes this is an area that can be overlooked.
Build the Person - not just the player.
Managers think of the ultimate prize and set out plans for how to achieve this. They are looking for that extra 1 or 2% to attain high-performance with physical, technical and mental coaching all vital.
This level of detail and preparation is great but it also means that athletes after being viewed as machines have to carry out x, y and z to be successful.
At the core of all our actions and decisions are fundamental choices based on our primal needs. They need to feel safe, secure and have a sense of belonging. As highlighted by Maslow when these needs are satisfied it leads to a greater sense of belonging and consecutiveness to the group. On the field this looks like players playing for the group, supporting their teammates and greater investment in the club as a whole.
We are seeing a new trend in team management with “the player centred approach” coming to the fore. The key to performance with this style is developing the person first and the player second.
From my time involved intercounty level football (elite level teams) this element in the same instance and strength and conditioning, it is seen as a necessity. When breaking down the season they assigned time dedicated purely to building the collective and developing relationships with the person.