Team Bonding and Branding

Team Bonding and Branding

“It’s more than just a game...”

The statement that has long defined pep talks rings true to every team that enters a court or sets up on the field.  Players can be exceptional athletes but can lose sight of themselves in the quest to become the best of the best or take on the winning score or trophy.  For most sports, it isn’t solely about the individual players, but about allowing oneself to step back and put teammates first in order to become a part of something bigger.

Characteristics of leading teams are often built upon core values of communication, responsibility, respect, and trust.  Smart Gen Society has designed educational programming centered around these traits with an enhanced focus on the areas of communication and responsibility.  In turn, they aim to teach authentic behaviors, critical thinking skills, and protection to reduce the impact today's technologies can have both on and off the field.  It is the ultimate goal of the agency to empower education, communication, and cooperation among team players, coaching staff, and families.

Over the past years, technology has worked its way into sporting events and onto fields impacting and transforming competitive sports and games in a multitude of capacities.  From enabling systems and devices to track and teach athletic performances to aiding in rules and referee assistance, wearable equipment, and more, the internet, high-speed capabilities, applications, blogs, and social media platforms have merged sports into the daily lives of coaches and players ensuring a deeper connection amidst the game, the team, and individual players and their fans.  Although technology allows for the opportunity to enhance the sporting experience in a multitude of ways, the ability to access, engage in, or observe the daily lives of the players through today’s technologies has led to increased complications for teams, coaches and athletes alike. 

There are various delivery methods for athletes to keep in mind when executing successful communication amongst individuals in their athletic community.  Often, these attributes can transfer back into their everyday interactions. Remaining calm, when the stakes are high, can increase the chances of success.  Individuals with the ability to stay calm under pressure in the midst of chaotic situations can see beyond the challenge and work towards finding solutions.  “Keeping cool” on the field requires both physical and mental stamina.  This ensures body language or tone of voice isn’t misrepresented or taken out of context from the situation at hand by fellow teammates, coaches, opponents, or observers.  

Technology gives us the incredible ability to connect with anyone at any time.  This includes essential information that players or teams can benefit from moments leading up to their games, but the ability to communicate 24/7 blurs the lines of communication and personal boundaries that existed before technology entered the field. 

With unmonitored and sometimes limitless access to communication tools between athletes, their teammates, opponents and the general public, it is important for individuals to set boundaries on their personal limitations to protect their physical and emotional well-being.   When athletes are already being pushed to their physical and mental limits through extensive training, practices, and games, setting personal communication boundaries off the field will ultimately lead to overall better performance.

Another layer of complication added to today’s technologies is the interaction between the coaching staff and their individual athletes. 

The method by which athletes and their coaches connect plays a vital and important role in players’ safety and well-being. To avoid any misconstrued messages, inappropriate communication, or crossing the lines of healthy communication habits among players and their coaches, it’s important to integrate a safe channel(s) of communication for all involved.  Selecting a designated application by which all messages are sent and received, or group chats for everyone to converse on, can help combat some of the negative implications that may arise from ill-prepared or ill-managed channels of communication.  Examples of protected communication mediums include apps such as Group Me and Team Snap. Group Me is designed so anyone can communicate without holding similar devices. Uniting users using their email or phone number for set up, opens up a way to communicate smoothly without explicitly giving out any identifiers other than a username. Team Snap was created to bring all players, parents and coaches together on one platform home to all the information participants of the team could possibly need while being monitored by parent supervision. 

How players choose to communicate off the field is a unique challenge for sporting organizations in today’s digitized world where everything posted, commented on, snapped, tweeted or followed can forever change perceptions and sometimes the future success of players and the teams they represent.  Players today are creating their own set of digital footprints off the field that can create an added layer of complication.

Anyone with a device has a responsibility to use that device appropriately.  For sporting teams, the creation of team technology guidelines and media plans can help outline clear expectations for all involved parties.  Because technology changes at rapid speeds, these guidelines should be regularly reviewed and updated.   

Now that daily lives and personal interactions can be recorded or photographed at any moment, the responsibilities athletes hold for themselves and have for their teammates, coaches, and the organizations they represent, are more challenging than ever.  As individuals, many have developed the tendency to share certain aspects of their lives online that would never be shared directly to a coach, or sent to a figure of authority.  Social media accounts are often viewed as personal, but they aren’t private, and any and all information sent and received on them can be scrutinized for years to come.

Building and enforcing healthy daily digital habits today will protect the long-term well being of their athletes, their coaches, and organizations they represent for years to come.   This can include the regular promotion of a digital reset or evaluation where a thorough combing of all online platforms occurs to ensure past off-brand content won’t interfere with future opportunities.  Focusing on simple tasks, such as asking players to put devices away before exiting vehicles for practices, games or activities, or adhering to healthy social media guidelines, will help re-establish boundaries that have been forgotten in the realm of digital media.  Refraining from participation in online polling or gossiping, and not using any form of social media with the intention to humiliate, degrade, or bully, and much much more. 

If you need support with your individual social media accounts or would like SGS to facilitate a workshop to guide your team towards building safer and healthier team relationships, please contact us at contact@smartgensociety.org.   We would be happy to assist with a personal digital media plan to fit the needs of your organization. 

This information does not guarantee online safety and is provided as a courtesy of Smart Gen Society.  SGS is not legally responsible for your family's digital planning or safety.


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