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Building Lacrosse Champions Through Team Culture

October 22, 2020

jennifer kovats

We’ve all heard the expression the whole is better than the sum of its parts. Coaches especially understand the truth in this; an impressive player can shoot a back breaker with ease, another may be able to block a lazer with their eyes closed, but a team’s true ability to win or lose is measured by its ability to work together. 

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

 

3 Things to Focus on To Build a Championship Culture

1. Athleticism

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

 

2. The Right Kind of Competitiveness

It’s no secret - athletes are competitive. But being competitive doesn’t have to be me-vs-you, or brutish. Teams that have a championship culture know that players should be focused 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. A piece of advice from famous coach John Wooden claims, “you can lose when you outscore somebody in a game, and you can win when you're outscored,” the difference is the mindset and what you do with wins and loses.

 

3. Team Pride

Another no brainer here - but one that deserves a little extra thought. 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
    Now we may be biased (being an apparel provider and all) but, the very first indicator of a unified group is their uniform and team gear. Your team will feel proud when they can act and look like a cohesive group, and others will notice immediately, too.

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

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