I’ve coached my 4th grade son’s soccer team for three seasons and from the beginning I’ve included other parents in the running of the team. The team is recreational and the focus is on building friendships, growing as a player and increasing character. The soccer field just happens to be the stage and the soccer ball a prop in accomplishing these goals. This doesn’t stand a chance without changing our behavior as parents in order to collaborate and achieve our goals.

Examples of implementing collaboration (mechanically) in this situation:

  • Involving a team mom to handle the logistics of the team, e.g. send an email for rain outs
  • Transferring coaching duties once per week to other parents

Examples of implementing collaboration (humanistically – a change of heart) in this situation:

  • Establishing rules of engagement, e.g. if you want to be on the team, you have to be quiet when the coach is teaching the team 

That’s whats going-on at the team level. What’s going-on at the (second level or) family level of each one of the players is something additional to consider.Our culture of competitiveness, hedonism, individualism and minimalism is the third level to consider.

I’m in the process of determining what collaborative skills or behaviors to use to address the second and third levels. If they’re not addressed, the impact the coaches can have on the team is limited.

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