How to Build Team Chemistry in Field Hockey
Every great team in history has had one thing in common: Team chemistry. When individuals come together to create a unified team, the possibilities are endless. So whether you are a coach, captain, or a player, building a solid team foundation is a must if you want to succeed.
The players on your team need to transform themselves into one, solid unit. Building this bond amongst your teammates will separate your team from every other team. Having 11 individually skilled players is not as important as having 11 players who work together.
This guide will teach you the steps to building team chemistry on your team, so you can win more games and have fun while doing it!
Develop a Team Goal
One way to develop team unity is to create a common goal. What does your team want to accomplish? Do they want to win the state championship? Go to nationals? Win more than half of the games this season? Once everyone on the team agrees to one goal, your team can start to piece the rest together.
By developing a common goal, your team creates a shared consciousness amongst the players. Despite any individual differences, every player will have something in common.
Create a Team Rival
Having a rival is one of the best ways to boost energy on your team. Rivalries motivate your team to work harder in practice and during games because everyone wants to beat their rival. Playing a rival will elevate the level of play to a much higher standard for both teams. This desire to win will be a constant motivation throughout the season.
Disperse the Clicks
Friendships within the team are highly beneficial for success — but clicks are not. Clicks are formed when a few players develop a strong bond between each other, but exclude others from their group. This is counterintuitive to building team unity because it creates divisions within the unit.
To eradicate clicks, players need to be exposed to each other. So whether you are the captain giving feedback to your coach, a player speaking up, or a coach trying to form a game plan — try to split up practice, pick-up games, and training partners. Not only will your team get to know each other on a more personal level, but they will also learn everyone’s playing style and be able to adapt their own behavior to fit their teammates on the field.
Building friendships off the field will help develop chemistry on the field. Make sure there is time set aside for some fun. Below are just a few ideas. So whether you’re a coach or a captain, here are some suggestions of socials to incorporate into your practices:
- Practice at the beach.
- Watch a game together. Nearby collegiate teams can really get a younger team motivated, and professional players can become instant role models.
- Organize a pasta party the night before a match.
This non-field hockey bonding time is extremely important in keeping the team energetic and excited about the friendships they are gaining through the sport.
Make sure that calisthenic (dynamic) stretching is included as part of the team’s daily warm-up. This type of stretching has been known to increase discipline among teams. Because of the rhythmic movements, daily calisthenic routines encourage players to follow a synchronized pattern. It also helps to build a sense of unity as members of the team respond in unison to the movements.
This form of stretching has also been proven to be physically more effective that the traditional static (stationary) stretches. To find out more about calisthenic stretching, visit iSport’s guide How to Warm-up in Field Hockey.
Finally, the single most important point to remember is to have fun! For most athletes, winning is fun. So make sure to approach every game and practice with a positive attitude — even if you’re losing. One rotten apple can spoil the bunch, so keep everyone on your team supportive of one another. A united team can overcome any obstacles they may face together!