Traditions can also bridge the gap to another powerful element of team culture: creating more opportunities for real contribution
There are many positive effects of real contribution that you should prioritize throughout the program to help your girls feel valuable to the team.
Research has shown that traumatic experiences can have a biological effect on kids, but contributing to something positive and feeling like they matter can help reduce some of the negative impacts of this stress and trauma. We will cover more on trauma in the next lesson.
You may only have a limited time during each practice to run through drills, but creating opportunities within this structure for your girls to take on an active role in the success of the team can help girls overcome adversity.
The set-up assistant:
As a coach, you don’t always have time to set up all of your drills before practice begins. Try recruiting a player as a set-up assistant. This not only gives her a meaningful role, but also gives you the opportunity to maximize your time with the team.
The welcome party leader:
Cultivating relationships can be as simple as a “hello.” Sometimes, coaches are too busy to greet each player when they arrive. Try designating a player as the welcome party leader who can help her teammates feel acknowledged for showing up while also building valuable athlete-to-athlete relationships.
While some of these seem like small tasks, they are intentional jobs that ensure girls feel they, as team members, are contributing a real benefit to the success of the program.
It all goes back to building a safe space.
You may only have a limited time during each practice to run through drills, but creating opportunities within this structure for your girls to take on an active role in the success of the team can help girls overcome trauma.