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Wednesday, April 27, 2011


From my experience, every team is unique. They have their own identity. And they have their own level of commitment. In the off-season, as a coach, you can quickly identify athletes who are "committed" and "loyal" to each other and to the program. And athletes who are not committed and do not feel an obligation to thier teammates, they don't quite ever get the "team" thing.

Players do not magically turn on "commitment" and "loyalty" to their teammates when the season starts. Most often if they don't have it in the off-season, they are never going to have it! As a coach, you can sense the potential of your team and the potential of individual players as you observe their off-season commitment to each other.

The following is interesting thoughts on the role of commitment in building a championship team. It is from Jeff Janssen.


While some seasons may start with the entire team focused on a common goal, rarely do they end up that way.

Commitment is probably the single most important factor that differentiates championship teams, coaches, athletes, businesses, schools, marriages (you name it) from the mediocre. It’s much too easy to say you want to win the championship and its a whole other thing to put in the blood, sweat, and tears necessary to pursue a championship - especially when obstacles and adversity strike. Continual commitment to the team’s common goal is one of the toughest areas of team building.

Championship teams buy into the mission at every level and make the mission their own. The players and coaches work hard and pay their dues because they want to, not because they have to.  In addition to their commitment, the team members feel a sense of personal and group accountability. The players have a clear understanding of how their individual choices and decisions influence the collective psyche and success of the team. There is a true sense that if an player is slacking off, she is not just hurting herself but her entire team. The players feel a sense of responsibility and obligation to give it their best.

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