Effective coaching and team building skills are important in many contexts. Whether discussing a high school soccer team or a team of business executives, many of the same strategies and skills are needed to allow teams to succeed to their highest potential. In this paper I will discuss these strategies and skills and explain their importance. I have interviewed a former high school soccer player about her interpretations of effective coaching and team building skills, and will compare the information gathered during the interview with issues discussed in the Robbins and Hunsaker text.
Jennifer Watson was a member of the Central Jersey Group Two High School Championship soccer team. She was able to provide valuable insight into the development of an effective team. Many of her views expressed to me in her interview paralleled concepts in the Robbins and Hunsaker text.
Jennifer felt she had an effective coach for many reasons, the first of which was her coach's constant support. "An effective coach is definitely a person of authority, but is also someone who cares about, and is there for the individual players," she said. Similarly, in the business world, an effective coach is defined as someone who aspires to see the individual succeed. The coach observes the performance of individuals on the team through questioning, showing interest, listening to, and understanding their point of view. The coach can then guide the individual toward the improvement of different skill areas.
An effective couch must provide a positive climate for all individuals to work in. A climate in which an individual feels comfortable will enable that individual to perform without the feeling of risk. A coach must always support the individual while remaining upbeat. Placing blame for an individual's mistake must be avoided. Mistakes should be used as a tool to learn from. When Jennifer was asked about the type of climate that her coach provided; she stated that, " Our coach was always willing to listen to a new idea or a new play. He would tell us that we could beat even a so called better team as long as we focused on our game."
A coach should never act as if there were a finite limit to an individuals' ability. Coaches should avoid allowing complicity to deter individual success. Every individual achievement should be recognized as an important achiev...
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...he time these were foolish acts which damaged team morale and performance."
Effective coaching and team building skills are the building blocks of an effective outcome. Effective coaches that learn how to harness ability that a individual may not have previously been aware of and capitalize on that ability stand to facilate a better outcome. Once an effectively coached individual can act independently, digently, and effectively he or she will complement a team. An effective team that can effectively navigate technical, problem solving and decision-making skills will be able to chart a direct course to success. When Jennifer was asked what lessons she learned from her team she stated "lessons that I learned that year will remain with me for ever. Even with so much on the line competvly and emotionally we showed that with our focus on teamwork, individual and team success could never fail. I will always remember that lesson."
Riley, Pat. The Winner Within. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1993.
Robbins, Stephan P and Hunsaker, Phillip L. Training In Interpersonal Skills Tips for Managing People at Work. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall,1996,1989.
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