The Anatomy of Success

A young soccer coach trying to make sense of a disappointing season sought a blueprint for success  What is it that successful teams have?  What is the "it" factor that separates the mediocre from the very good?  The result of our discussion is more of a checklist than it is a blueprint, but I think we got it pretty much right.  I am also sure we have not reinvented the wheel.  Nonetheless, it was a good mental exercise for us and in the end a productive one.

1)  Leadership

It all begins with energetic disciplined positive leadership. There needs to be driven determination with a humble attitude.  And vision.  The leadership needs a vision for what the team should look like on and off the pitch.

2) Truth and Trust

There must exist an honest assessment of where the program is before plans can be made to take it where the leadership vision believes it can ascend to. There also must be honesty in the relationships between all members of the team.  Without truth there will never be full trust and the team will never play to its full potential.

3) Buy-in

Get the right people on board, then figure out the rest of the logistics.  There needs to be a collective effort to address the smallest details of the process. This goes beyond simple accepting or filling of roles. It necessitates embracing roles and a willingness to fulfill them to the greatest extent possible. You have to get the right people before you can get the rest right.  Coach, assistant coaches, players - all facing in the same direction with the same destination in mind. 100% investment.  100% commitment, These are the ideals. The closer you come to achieving these the greater your chances for success.

4) Accentuate Strengths

Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes the focus on weakness outweighs the focus on strengths.  Identify strengths and place people in positions and situations where they have a reasonable expectation for success based on those strengths. Can we match passion with strengths?  Is their a willingness to sacrifice for the good of the team?

5) A Culture of Dedicated Discipline

There are no shortcuts on the journey to success.  When we look at the consequences of not doing the little things we realize there are no little things. Cutting corners in practice will show up in your play in matches.  A dedicated commitment to each and every detail of the process is a must. Accountability to one another and to the shared vision for the team.

6) Innovativeness

How individual and collective strengths are utilized. Break the mold to gain the most from each player, each unit on the pitch.  Create a system unique to the present team.  Freedom to explore the game on both individual and collective levels emphasizing strengths, passion, and the pursuit of wins.

7) Freedom

Each individual brings something to the collective.  There must be room within the disciplined effort to allow for individual initiative and expression of freedom.  We play for one another and that includes assuming different roles and responsibilities in the run of play.  The expectation is for positional responsibilities more so than who mans the position. Each small initiative taken by a player impacts every other player and leads to further initiatives being taken.  Only when a role or positional responsibility goes unfulfilled is there real danger to the overall process.  Encourage freedom while emphasizing with freedom comes responsibility. The more freedom, the more responsibility.

No comments:

Post a Comment