When your team experiences a success, what do you do? Do you ignore these wins, automatically working towards the next goal without an acknowledgement of what has been achieved? Do you share a quick “congratulations” or “good job” and then head back home after each session, match, or season?
Within society and the non-stop 24-7 world, it is all too easy to place immediate focus on your next task at hand and forget to stop and reflect on what’s been achieved. Yet if you ignore the wins of the team you work with, you miss a vital opportunity not only to inspire these individuals onto even greater successes, but also may impact the opportunity to strengthen your own leadership as a coach, helper or volunteer in the process.
Why is that important? Your leadership approach and style can be defined by the way others perceive, think and feel about you as a leader. At times this can make or break your success, engagement or buy-in from the group or individuals you work with.
Without celebrating the wins effectively this may impact your ability to get the most out of the group of players or inspire them onto their next steps.
Therefore, if you gloss over your team’s successes without recognition, what does that say about you as a leader, coach or helper?
Those perceptions also may reflect the club as a whole, which may impact player retention for the next season and beyond.
Here are the top 10 reasons why celebrating wins is important for the team, for you as a helper and to highlight the positive culture and outcomes of the club itself:
1) Reminds you of the goal you set and why you set it in the first place.
It’s easy to forget why a goal was important, however forgetting that removes all meaning from the task. When people remember ‘why’ the work they do helps grow players or achieve a player challenge, they’re inspired to do more for the cause.
2) Reminds you that a good, focused goal-setting process works
You set the goal, create challenges, conditions, and an identity as a coach to achieve and reach the outcomes you want as a group collective. This not only is more likely to deliver good results as a biproduct of the process, but it also is more likely to inspire your team to set goals in all areas of their work as well independently.
3) Motivates your team to continue delivering good work.
Coaches and/or players who feel appreciated and know their efforts have been noticed become even more productive with the next round of pre-season, training and matchdays. Alongside a break all for coaches and players, this also may inspire them to ‘miss’ the game first, and subsequently ‘love’ and want to get back playing again when the time is right.
4) Unifies the team around a positive outcome.
If there are players of your team who are finding it difficult to get along, remind them that they have achieved a common goal that helps bring them together. ‘You have worked together to achieve….’. “Without both of you we wouldn’t have achieved…”
5) Reminds the team that they work for a positive club and organisation.
There is no denying it, players most likely want to play for a good club who achieves outcomes. Of course winning isn’t the most important thing, yet it is a part of sport and some players have an inherent desire to win whatever the level. So, one of the greatest morale-builders that a leader or coach can offer players is the knowledge that they work for a successful club – not just necessarily a winning club, a successful club with the right positive culture and environment for people to thrive in.
6) Forces you and your team to concentrate on the positive rather than the negative.
Even if your club or team has had some challenging moments in the season, there are still wins you can celebrate. Give your team a boost by celebrating and reminding them that good things are still to come with the club;
– Presentation Nights
– Parents v Kids Football
– Gala Days
– Friendly fixtures
– Internal 5-A-Side Tournaments
– Intraclub tournaments
7) Builds momentum for you and your team.
When a success is celebrated, everyone is reminded that their ability to reach one specific goal indicates just how close they are to achieving even greater goals. Can you outline what the greater goals are for the next year and tell people?
8) Gets you away from mundane end of season approach of ‘we’re nearly finished guys’.
No matter how briefly, changing your team’s mind-set from “it’s nearly the end of the season” to “celebrating the fact we have 3 exciting games left” gives both you and your team renewed positive energy on the job.
9) Allows you to connect with other coaches, club members, parents and volunteers outside of the game.
It helps you build a more personal connection within your team – another great way to boost your leadership and influence as a positive coach or person in a position of care. Can coaches have a social event? Can you organise a coaches or volunteer workshop to ensure they are heard and listened to whilst outlined season successes and case studies of these individuals?
10) Allows you to reward specific coaches.
When you’re clear about what went well – naming names, dates, great ideas and the deadlines that were met or exceeded – you not only legitimise the celebration, but you also reinforce the kinds of behaviours that the club and team values. This shows your team exactly how they can earn similar celebrations in the future.
In summary, as a leader, or coach it’s your job to keep your team motivated toward its own growth as well as towards the common goal of growing the overarching club environment. Celebrating wins is a great way to do both and has the great side effect of ensuring every individual looks up to you as a person who cares about them as a person and the development of players within the world game.