In the video above, Topher Scott discusses the importance of Connection in developing your team's culture.

"Building connection is all about building personal relationships. The more time and energy you invest into building those relationships, the healthier and better your program is going to be."  - Topher Scott

Three types of connections to develop to improve your team's culture:

1. Coach & Player Connection

  • Get to Know Your Players: The more that you can connect and get to know your players, the more you are going to be able to know what motivates them, what makes them tick. This knowledge will let you know how to be a better coach.
  • Let The Players & Parents Get to Know You: On the flip side, the more the player gets to know you, the more human you become, the better the connection can be, which will make them more likely to listen to you while you are coaching. This will also allow you to hold them more accountable when things get tough.

2. Player & Player Connection

Player to player connections are EVERYTHING to the culture of a team. Tips to develop Player to Player Connections:

  • Formal Team Building: You can build player to player relationships through formal team building activities, holding values activities where people get to know each other on a deeper level, military training or obstacle courses where things are tough and players must work together to be successful.
  • Informal Team Building: the lifeblood of the team is informal activities. Get players together away from the rink and the pressures of the game. Go to parks, watch movies, watch games, have team dinners, and figure out other ways to get the team together to hang out and have fun! 

3. Connection to Something Greater Than Yourself 

Find a way to have your players or team connect to something greater than yourself! When you can connect to something greater than yourself you get meaning and purpose to dig deep and come together when things are tough. 

A couple of questions players and coaches can ask each other to find a connection to something greater than yourself. 

  1. Who Are They Playing For?
    • examples: Teams can connect to their local organization or town, their friends, family or a specific belief, cause or charity. 
  2. Why Are They Playing?
    • examples: Because they love it, or because their parents work hard so they can play, or because it helps with their fitness, or because they can inspire others, etc. 

Connection is the oxygen of every team. The more time and energy you invest in these relationships, the better your program is going to be.