What We Learned from the Olympics about Teams

by marilyn on October 14, 2008

Like many, I stayed up far too late this summer watching the Olympics, which to me represent the product of coaching at its finest. There were so many lessons we might have taken away but foremost on my mind are the ingredients of success that I think were demonstrated across the board.

For the athletes individually there seemed to be common ingredients:

  • Focus
  • Determination to achieve the goal
  • Pride in one’s efforts
  • Support– family, friends, country and, of course, the coaches!
  • The ability to clear the mind of distracting and irrelevant. . . even if painful. . . thoughts (Nastia Lukin brushing off unfair scoring to win the women’s all around gymnastics)
  • Love for what one is doing so that no matter how much hard work it is, there is joy in the doing itself

For teams there is an additional layer:

  • Mutual respect for each others talents and contributions
  • Synchronicity– knowing one’s teammates so well you can anticipate and complement their moves
  • Timing — similar to above
  • Knowing that the team is not just a combination of but something more powerful than the individuals that comprise it — the difference between the Athen’s “dream team” and this year’s “redeem team.”
  • Comraderie (Did you know Michael Phelps gave up an opportunity for his 7th gold in Athens so his teammate could have a chance at gold in the last rally?)

Putting together the ideal team is a subject for another day!

For more on teams take a look at www.itdecisionscoaching.com

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