When members of a group of any size, from a basketball team to a business organization, share a vision that makes them feel proud, feel valued, and feel that they have a voice to express their ideas and opinions, it creates a connection, a bond, a feeling of unity or esprit de corps.
—Why Coach K Coaches Like a Girl
Okay, I don’t like the title of the article I quoted above. First of all, girls aren’t typically coaches, women are. Second of all, it’s repetitious (coach, coaches). Lastly, comparing a grown person to a child of another gender is rarely a compliment. That being said, I get it. It comes across as a slight or maybe even a slam against Coach K when, in actuality, the author paints “coaching like a girl” is a positive.
He’s being provocative.
The author does a great job of describing why Coach K’s been successful…attributing it to the female presence in his life. I don’t know how true or accurate that is and I certainly don’t think you have to be a woman to create a connected team. What I really enjoyed about the article was his formula:
Vision + Value + Voice = Connected Culture
Vision: I believe this has to be two-fold. Vision for each individual player: an athlete will put up with not playing, with being pushed mentally and physically, with a whole lot…as long as they see how it fits into the grand plan. And of course we’ve got to have a vision for the program. That vision will influence how we recruit, how we plan practices, how we schedule opponents…everything.
Value: Our players invest a lot of themselves into our program. Their time, their heart, their passion, their egos. We ask a lot of them and they give us a lot, the least we can do is make sure they know we appreciate what they’re putting into the program.
Voice: This doesn’t mean that you always do what your players ask of you, but they should feel comfortable in their belief that their opinions will be heard and considered.
Giving our teams a vision of the future of the program, combined with valuing their effort and giving them a voice is a great way for us to create a team culture that will withstand the normal ups and downs of a season.