WICB embracing change
May 2015 – Team Building for elite sports teams have become a new way to embrace some of the demands being placed on competition and the need for consistent performance. Seasons are getting longer, athletes are playing more tournaments and consumers are demanding more. What then are teams to do?
Different teams take different approaches. The aim of any good coach these days is to get his/her team to perform to its maximum using effective communication skills on and off the field of play. More and more elite athletes are being engaged in specific activities aimed at
- improving self esteem
- building confidence
- preparation for leadership
- greater focus on teamwork and respect
- reaching for excellence
What this kind of exercise does is help the team including management create a high performance team. One should understand that teams which engage in these types of activities are gearing towards the ‘competitive edge’ which usually is what creates the winning formula.
By definition, Team Building is a group problem-solving task that entails the structuring of interactions so that each person in the group can learn to depend on each other and to be accountable to each other. Other issues that come into play are Team cohesion, a dynamic process that is reflected in the tendency of a group to stick together and remain united in the pursuit of its objectives and/or for the satisfaction of member effective needs. A cohesive group is able to remain united in the pursuit of its goals or objectives. It is a leader’s job to get to know his or her athletes off the field.
There is nothing easy about trying to achieve togetherness in an elite sports team. Today’s sports world is defined by salaries, egos, and turnover. Regardless, the best teams are usually the most cohesive units. Outside of talent, there is a reason why the former Chicago Bulls’ coach, Phil Jackson’s teams always wins. Jackson incorporated different exercises to promote cohesion.
Great coaches allow his/her team to play through difficult stretches. Great coaches also find roles for players based on strengths. Each player has a particular strength. It however makes sense for as many players as possible to work as a team all aimed at a common cause. Winning at that point becomes more enjoyable.
WICB sees merit in the approach
Just under two years ago, the West Indies Cricket Board hosted an elite team tour in Florida (October 2013) where Barney Jones, president of the Central Florida Cricket Association said “those sessions will not only bring a talented team together, but will serve as a catalyst for the sport.” The team while on tour at the time stopped in Orlando, Miami and sections of Broward County.
The team management has post tour discussions and that contributes to the efforts of the team to gather information necessary for growth and development. More recently (May 2015), right after the England series, the Board engaged a more comprehensive approach to include the operations team, management, territorial boards and the board of directors to sit along with players under the WI Team Up programme hosted by Marguerite Orane and her team – who are determined to help leaders of growing businesses bring joy into their workplace so that customers are delighted and their team is happy and productive!
Orane drew her conclusions and this is an excerpt from her report – The WI TEAM UP event was very well received. Given the long history of blame, recrimination and poor relationships, particularly between the WICB and the players, we were thrilled to note the level of participation, discussion and camaraderie amongst the group. This augurs well to move forward to create more harmonious relationships.
President, Whycliffe ‘Dave’ Cameron, in his opening remarks quoted Abraham Lincoln – “A house divided against itself cannot stand. This process, we hope is the beginning of the household of WI cricket standing together to achieve the shared goal of being #1.”
Orane is one section of her report put forward these points:
- We were particularly pleased to see:
- How quickly the participants engaged in the activities with full attention;
- Representatives from all the groups readily volunteering to make presentations;
- The alignment of vision – ALL individuals present want WI cricket to be Number One!
- The level of understanding and appreciation for each other with participants seeing the part that each group must play in creating the desired future for WI cricket.
She closed with the suggestion that “this is a golden moment on which to build a vibrant, sustainable and exciting future for WI Cricket.” Whether it’s One Team, One Goal or WI Team Up – West Indies cricket is adjusting.