Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

USMC Leadership in Action, Pt. 2

Posted by admin May - 17 - 2012 - Thursday

I want to talk about a subject that I had only heard about but found it explained quite well by the Marines! It is Group Dynamics. When individuals come together in a group, their individual needs take on a whole new dimension. Each person is not only influenced by his own needs but he is influenced by the needs of other people in the group. This mixture creates a very complex and dynamic force. An effective leader needs to have a working knowledge of group dynamics. An understanding of group dynamics helps the leader discover new ways not only to motivate his team but to do it in a way that will provide a sense of satisfaction to those in the group.

The key here is to develop a “group personality” of its own. The use of “I” gradually changes to “we” and the group starts functioning more as a team with a common purpose rather than a bunch of selfish individuals who are only looking out for #1! One of my mantras with my teams over the years is: “Big TEAM… little Me.” As long as you have kids who are more concerned about the name on the BACK of their jersey instead of the one on the FRONT, you will have to continue to work on this transformation. A truly functioning team is created when each member gains satisfaction from his membership and his role in the group.

When you hear your players using the word “we” instead of “me,” it indicates that satisfaction is being gained and that person is identifying himself with the group. So, the successful leader is going to understand the nature of a group by referring to his knowledge of those individual needs (that I shared last week) and how they can be satisfied by belonging to the team.

More next week!

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