Winning soccer mentality - part 2
Henrik Hjarsbæk gives you the playbook on how to create a winning mentality in your team.
This is the successor of part 1 in the article series of Winning Mentality. If you didn’t read the first post, I advise you to do so here.
How do you keep two equally skilled players motivated and contributing to the development and success of the team? Can substituted players put themselves aside for the overall success of the team? Can and will injured players contribute to enhance the performance of the team? Do your players know the plan if you are leading the game or if you are behind? Does everybody know their respective roles that contributes for overall team success?
Roles, expectations and values
Instead of having players compete and play for themselves, the coach must create a team that is giving 100 % for each other and for the team. Each player must know and accept their unique role and what is expected from them and then buy into the bigger picture of the team before the individual.
Your players need to know: a) their unique role in the team, b) what is expected from the player and c) how they are contributing to the team.
If the players see and feel the meaning of their role, they will contribute to the overall unit and you will be closer to the winning mentality you want for your team.
Gather ALL your players and define the roles that one player has.
The roles can be formal (in training and matches) and informal (locker room, social arrangement, mentoring etc.).
Formal roles can be: striker, winger, shooter, dribbler, passer, box-to-box, tackler, fighter, verbal leader etc.
Informal roles can be: mentoring youth players, spokesperson for the youths, spokesperson to the fans, arranging social gatherings etc.
Following defining the roles, each role will be attached with specific expectations for what kind of behavior the team is expecting from the player. For example, it is inherent in the wingers in FC Barcelona that they seek to find Lionel Messi rather than making a volley cross or try a shot on goal.
Values create the identity of your team
The importance of values can only be underestimated. Values as professionalism, honesty, openness, integrity, respect, and responsibility can bind a team together, make the team stronger and more competitive by creating a unique team culture.
The culture of your team should be transparent and obvious for you, the players and even the fans.
A few examples:
Pep Guardiola: Defending far away from goal by mastering the possession of the ball, positional play and high re-pressuring to recover the ball.
José Mourinho: Efficient football with steely defense and lethal counterattacking.
Arsène Wenger: A liberal approach for the players to play freely and trust their responsibility and instincts in decision making.
The culture and values of the team has to be strong enough to cope with substitution of players, selling and buying players, and even a new manager.
All members of the team must take ownership in the declared values and agree that these will form the cornerstones of your team.
Value 1: ___________________________________
Value 2: ___________________________________
Value 3: ___________________________________
After defining the values, everybody on the team should explicatively be able to say: “This is how we are in our team and this is how we do things in our team”
Now you ask the team to fill in the “why” and the “how” for each value.
First you ask why it is important with value number 1. Why is it so important that the team has the respective value?
Why value #1: ____________________________________________________________
Following you add the how. How means, how can the team live up to the values they want. This must be as specific as possible. The how will also be the team’s guideline for how they will live up to the values.
How will the team enable Value #1: ___________________________________________
Next week in part 3 in the article series of Winning Mentality, I will discuss blueprints for teamwork.