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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Game Day Traditions to Help Build Unity

I had a great conversation with Coach Frank DiCocco a few days ago. He is an assistant coach at Dwyer High School in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

He told me about some traditions they have in their program.

Please write down 1 or 2 traditions that you have in your program with a brief explanation and email them to me so we can all learn from one another - regardless of the sport you coach.

This is the great benefit of SportsLeader - being a part of a great community.

Game Day Traditions to Help Build Unity
A few great traditions that help bring us together as a football family... perhaps you may like to make them a part of your own program as well.

Tradition One – “Brothers In Arms” – A Pre-Game Tradition and Symbol of Unity 
We will stand on the sidelines with arms locked, while the game captains go out to midfield for the coin toss. We will be “brothers in arms,” literally and figuratively. This will be a symbolic gesture, and one that unifies us prior to taking the field for the start of the game. We will do everything as brothers. And we will be as close as we possibly can be: we will be for each other. It will all start before the opening kickoff.

Tradition Two – Everybody Touches the Game Ball: A Family-Building Tradition 
Many teams have a post-victory tradition of awarding game balls to the team’s most valuable member or best performer during a game. Rather than singling any one person out—after all, no one individual is responsible for the team’s success; it is a team game, and every member of the team matters: every person counts and everyone contributes—we instead pass the game ball around the locker room. Each and every person in the room gets the chance to touch the game ball—student-athletes, coaches, managers, trainers, and water personnel. This reinforces the theme that every member of our team is important as a person, and that every individual is an important member of the team as well, and therefore, plays a valuable role in the team’s success.

Passing the game ball around is symbolic of awarding the game ball to each and every member of the team. Each individual shares in the wins and losses, and so, when we achieve victory, we share the feeling of accomplishment and we share the recognition for the achievement. Passing the game ball around is our way of acknowledging and showing our appreciation for every member of the team. It is our way of letting everyone know that he is valued and important—both as a human being and as a member of our football family.

When we win, we win as a team. Everyone plays an important role in the team’s success. Every person counts, and everyone contributes. When we win, there is plenty of recognition to go around; we make sure that it gets passed around with the game ball.

One soul. One goal. One heartbeat. 

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