💭 ONE THOUGHT
Tough Teams Win
What does it mean to be tough?
Toughness is not a trait you're born with; it's a skill you develop.
It is the ability to push through adversity, stay focused under pressure, and never give up, no matter the circumstances.
Coaches play a vital role in developing toughness in their teams.
What is the makeup of Mentally Tough Teams?
How can we build TOUGH teams? I think all tough teams have five attributes. Tough teams are a collective effort. It is critical that we, as coaches, build the mindsets needed to be a tough team with our players each and every day.
Tough teams have to be close-knit. They have to be connected. Mental toughness is needed when times get tough and when adversity strikes. If a team is not connected and on the same page, they will cave during these times.
As coaches, how do you purposefully create a tight-knit team? What is the role of team leaders in including all teammates and making sure your team is connected?
Tough teams need to be optimistic. Why? Because when you are optimistic, you have a growth mindset. You believe that when failure or tough times occur, you will overcome them. Those with negative or fixed mindsets do not respond well to failure or adversity.
Do you bring an optimistic tone as a coach? Do you allow negative energy to filter through your team?
Tough teams have a WE > ME mindset. They care about the team first. They do not try to go at things alone. When teammates have a Me-First mindset, they create division and self-centeredness. These teams fail when toughness is needed.
Do you preach team first? Do you clearly define roles for your players? Do you make sure kids not only know their roles but are willing to accept their roles? Communication is key.
Sometimes you just need to fight through it and suck it up. Tough teams do not hide from this challenge. This is GRIT. Gritty teams just keep clawing away and work to fight through any tough times.
How do you teach grit to your team? Does your team fight and compete every day? How do you encourage competition and a never-quit mindset with your team?
Finally, tough teams are humble. They know they achieve because of their work ethic and commitment. They have earned everything they have done. They respect the process and know they need to appreciate the good things that come from their work ethic. They know this because they also know it can easily be taken away. This keeps them humble.
Do you model being humble as a coach? Do you model and discuss sportsmanship with your team?
Want to read more about toughness? I wrote about one of the toughest players ever to play a while back, Kobe Bryant, and his 10 Rules of Greatness.
Creating a tough team is a process. Coaches are critical in developing the mindsets needed to create a tough team.
Toughness is critical in winning teams. Always remember that Tough Teams are:
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