Sunday, January 4, 2015

Functional Team Chemistry

It might be worth your while to check out ROI Of Pro Paintball post before getting into this one if you missed it. It is only peripherally about team chemistry but still serves as a good lead-in. As noted in the previous post most efforts at building team chemistry occur off the field of play and are, at best, a hit or miss proposition. Teammates may end up being the best of friends and yet it somehow doesn't translate onto the field. The reason for this is while positive relationships amongst players is normally considered a facilitator of team chemistry it isn't functional team chemistry or even a substitute for it.
Before going any further it might be helpful to try and define what team chemistry is in a functional sense. (As opposed to the usual--and nebulous--notion of a group of players really getting along and having a good time together. After all, what exactly does that get you if your objective is winning?)
Functional team chemistry is about transforming the play of five individuals into that of one team; of elevating personal play to corporate play.
It doesn't happen because everyone is friends. It doesn't happen after some non-specific number of practices or events. It doesn't happen just because you work hard. It doesn't happen if everyone really wants to win. It doesn't happen if everyone piles into a single hotel room on the road.(etc)
It begins to happen when everyone puts team first. It begins to happen when everyone takes on field communication seriously. It begins to happen when everyone shares a common understanding of how the game should be played. It begins to happen when the game plan provides a unified team goal for each play and it begins to happen when each player understands his or her role in executing the game plan.
Easier said than done these are basic building blocks to the kind of functional team chemistry that elevates contenders to champions.

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