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How Does the Culture of a Club Become Unique?

robert

Unique Club Culture

18/11/2019

We have the same jerseys, the same tracksuits,

the same love of winning,

the same way of …

These are just the marks of a club that help us recognise each other.

Does this make us unique?

No.

It’s something that is easy to organise and learn.

Creating a culture has a deeper effect and makes a more substantial change.

It consists of common ideas, outlooks on the game, a system of values, i.e. all the activities of club members.

PLAYING AND TRAINING

An important step is creating a recognisable style of training and play. 

It doesn’t necessarily have to be different than that of other clubs, but it has to have a logical course from the youngest players all the way to the seniors. 

The basic idea of how we train and play is developed in everyday interaction between coaches, and is always being improved with new details. They are taken from experience and notes on the evolution of training methods and the development of handball.

The most important question is:

Why?

Coaches should know why they are implementing a certain model of training and playing.

The goal should be a clearly defined style of play in the senior category, and the course of learning should be logical since some knowledge is based on specific previous knowledge and acquiring it is incomplete if the player doesn’t know the basics.

Coaches need to know why something is important for a specific age group,

and it doesn’t matter if the younger players don’t yet know something that the seniors do.

Experience has shown that it is very difficult to form a group of coaches who work with younger players and who understand and want to implement a unique work programme.

The most common reason for this is ego.

Coaches who have large egos have trouble accepting a role in which their main job isn’t personal promotion through the victories they achieve through creating shortcuts and automatising children, but through the quality learning of basic handball knowledge.

We have the same jerseys,

the same tracksuits,

the same love of winning,

the same…

These are just the marks of a club that help us recognise each other.

Does this make us unique?

No.

It’s something that is easy to organise and learn.

Creating a culture has a deeper effect and makes a more substantial change.

It consists of common ideas, outlooks on the game, a system of values, i.e. all the activities of club members.

VALUES

Values are universal principles which are above everyday events, feelings, desires, or goals.

Values should be defined by using simple phrases or a single word.

Most importantly, a community has to implement these values in everyday life.

There are two ways to create a system of values.

One is to determine them, which is usually made by the people who lead a club, and to then spread them among everyone.

This is a fast method with a usually insurmountable problem: a lot of people see it as someone imposing a system of values on them, and this causes them to fight against it.

A slower, but more effective method is to recognise our common values, and then define and nurture them in everyday interaction.

It may seem simple, but sometimes it isn’t.

Here is an example of a club that has ‘respect’ as one of their main values:

It is easy to respect a team player, the coach, or the president of the club.

The team culture is more obvious after a defeat than after a victory.

Do we respect someone who has beaten us or do we hate them?

Do we respect someone we have beaten or do we want to humiliate them?

There is a divine purpose behind everything

and therefore a divine presence in everything.

– Neale Donald Walsch –

What is unity in a club, and how do we recognise and affect it?

Unity is not a state in which we all think the same, a space where everyone is friends and the club has no problems.

Every member of the management board, every fan, coach, and player have strengths and weaknesses. Good clubs are those where the strengths are multiplied, and the weaknesses subtracted. 

Unity is chemistry which enables the whole to be larger than the sum of its parts.

The tool that either builds or destroys unity is communication. Good communication defuses tensions created by differences between people, while bad communication creates tensions where there shouldn’t be any.

The biggest enemy of unity is ego. The walls built by ego between people are difficult to knock down and to much energy is spend on going around them, so there isn’t much time left to build a good club.

The consequence of this kind of performance is that there are clubs formed within a club. 

Management board members have “their people in their club”,

coaches have “their teams”,

and players have “their groups in the changing room”.

Personal interest becomes the most important thing to people, and they don’t care about the overall improvement of the club. 

Their narrow viewpoint means they can’t see that they will achieve personal improvement more easily if the club becomes better.

On the other hand, a better cooperation with a common goal in mind means people will put in more effort. It is important to understand that cooperation does not mean single-mindedness, but an honest and open communication, because only an honest and open communication enables everyone to accept differences in opinions and the creation of a common vision.

”Write drunk, revise sober.”

– Peter De Vries –

Who chooses coaches and on what criteria? 

And players?

The most important responsibility in creating and maintaining unity is that of the management board of a club. 

Their job is to find competent people,

place them on appropriate positions within the club structure,

and maintaining a culture of honest and open communication.

The coaches are probably the second most important actors in spreading unity because they have direct, everyday influence on all players. 

More ambitious coaches are usually a setback in this process because they are held by their own ambition and can’t see the importance of unity.

Since ambition stems from vanity, this type of coach is not capable of understanding the importance of common goals, and creates a “club within a club” where the point of “his team” is only his personal promotion…

Feelings of belonging to a club, creation of long-term friendships within a team, helping co-workers, long-term progress of the club, etc., are not the primary goals in his mind, but rather an accidental result that happens against his will.

A “worse coach” with a good value system is better for a club than an ambitious “top-notch coach” who is unable to cooperate.

Characteristics we should develop are communication skills, willingness to help, compassion/empathy, reliability, ability to learn,…

Unity, improvement, and wins will be something we won’t have to worry about if we bring people with these characteristics to the club and work diligently on  improving them in other people in the club.

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