How to Build Team Chemistry
We’ve all have a favorite sports movie. Typically, the team starts out with little chemistry or cohesion. As the movie progresses, the teammates get to know each other better, battle together, and spend some time off the field. At the end of the movie, the teammates are united and have each other’s backs like a family, and this team chemistry is what helps them win the championship.
Though most sports movies are nothing like the real thing, they do get one thing right—team chemistry is very important. This is important in all types of sports, but especially in soccer, where team play is the entire basis for offense and defense. When teams have good chemistry, they cooperate, communicate, and trust each other during their games. They provide support to each other when things are going badly, and they congratulate each other when things are going well.
When teams don’t have team chemistry, the opposite is true. Arguments can quickly turn toxic, and players are unable to work together or make sacrifices for the team. Here are a few tips on how to make sure your team has great chemistry.
Emphasize Team Goals and Team Success
You’re the coach, and it’s your job to define the team’s goals and objectives. Make sure that you prioritize team success over individual success. When individuals perform well, this should be recognized, but you should also recognize when players are making the team better overall. For example, you should bring attention to the players who are passing well and assisting others. Soccer is a team sport, and those players are just as important as the players who ultimately score the goals.
Plan Some Off-Field Activities
On-field chemistry and off-field chemistry feed into each other. If you give your players a chance to get to know each other and become friends outside of soccer, this can help them play better as a team. Team meals are a great chance for everyone to come together and celebrate a victory. Organizing team outings for volunteer work is a fantastic way to give players the chance to bond and help the community at the same time.
Designate Team Captains
A well-honored coaching tradition is selecting a team captain. As the coach, there is only so much you can do to lead the team and to help players get along with each other. Because team captains are actually a part of the team, they can solve problems in a different way and can help bring the team together during a difficult time.
Never Allow Bullying
When you see players being mean or abusive to each other, it’s important that you put a stop to it right away. There is no place for bullying in a team sport, and players should be supporting and helping each other instead of putting them down. When two players are having problems, the discomfort and anger spreads to other teammates and ruins team chemistry for everyone.
Be Positive and Congratulatory
A good team is enthusiastic and will cheer and clap when one of their players is doing well. Throughout practices and games, you should always be providing positive encouragement and praise to your players. Your players will notice how you act in these situations and will start cheering each other on as well.
When you’re a coach, team chemistry will sometimes come naturally. Other times it will be more difficult. Your players and their personalities will certainly play a role, but you also have the responsibility to create an environment where it’s easy for teammates to trust each other and get along. By following these tips, you’ll be on your way to creating a positive and cooperative environment for all of your players.