Teams and team building are a part of business science. The creation of good working team dynamics are fundamental to this. In sport, it’s the difference between a team and a disorganized mess. Relationships, partnerships, and building team strengths are all part of this process. In netball training programs, team dynamics is a critical factor in success.
Team dynamics, defined
Dynamics are functional processes. A team is a combination of interactions at all levels, personal, in plays, and in planning. Every move in the game relates to team dynamics. If that sounds a bit complex, it is, and it needs to be understood clearly how dynamics can make or break a team.
Examples of productive and destructive team dynamics are easy to identify:
- Selfless play
- Back up for the ball player
- Support and encouragement
- Good off and on field relationships
- Ego plays
- Ball hogging
- Ignoring other team members
- Gossip and slanging wars
One look at the really great teams and top players, and you’ll see all productive work, and nothing but that. That’s how vital team dynamics are. Good netball coaching techniques can promote productive dynamics and shut down the destructive type.
Team building basics
The first critical task for any coach is to drill into everyone’s brains the importance of the team. It’s fairly typical with really good younger players that they’re natural stars, and they may not understand the importance of the team as a result of junior experience. Others may be shy or lone wolves.
These steps are extremely basic, but essential:
- Relationship building: Break up the “social groups” and round up the hermits in training and make sure team members aren’t being shut out of the team environment. Everyone should be spending time on the ball with each other, learning how to work together.
- Training and working together: Just about any training exercise which involves cooperation enforces basic team dynamics. It’s particularly important that everyone gets to work in pairs regularly. That reinforces working relationships, and breaks the ice socially for new players, a good introduction process which also builds respect for the skills of others.
Team relationships are like highlighters for coaches. If there are clashes, you’ll see them a mile off. These relationship glitches often aren’t serious, but if they start causing problems on the field, you’ve got a real problem.
Just do what needs doing. Be tough but fair. Netball coaching skills are really all about people management. The problem people may be personal friends, but as a coach, you’re like a parent. You can’t have favorites, and it’s not fair (or wise) to overlook things you’d bury other players for doing.
Knowing when the dynamics are right
You’ll know when you’ve got a great team:
- Communications and relationships on and off field are all working well.
- Everyone is supportive.
- There are no “groups”, just the team.
- Play quality keeps improving, even when playing well.
It’s as good as it sounds.