Episode 25 – How to build a winning team

I’ve been fortunate to have a father who saw the importance of team sports in my child and lifelong development. Thanks Dad. With this experience I shall discuss how to build winning teams.


My team history

Sports and competing in teams is one of the most important skills to learn.

I’ve had exposure to team sports for 25 years now and that to me is a career long experience in many skills. In that time, I’ve been in 25 championship winning teams from 30 championship grand final appearances(19 as a player and 6 as a coach so far). I know what it takes to win and I know what it takes to come back from losing (as of 19 August 2019).

While I’ve had a great run in winning teams and learned a lot, I’ve also had a great run in losses as well. It’s terrible to lose. I hate the feeling but that’s life. All you can do is get back up and start to rebuild again.


A note on winning and losing

Winning is a learnable skill (and so is losing).

As individuals and teams, we need to be able to manage both situations (winning and losing) with maturity and objectivity while embracing the moment that comes with it. Winning is the best! It’s an amazing feeling, it builds phenomenal confidence, it reinforces virtues such as commitment and focus, and it sweeps the downside of sacrifice under the carpet.

Winning also brings people together in a moment forever and those stories, feelings and character attributes will be never be taken away.  Somewhere on the tightrope between winning and losing is where our true character is carved and legends are created (and not just in sports teams).


What is a team?

A team is a group of individuals that come together to work towards a common goal.


Why teams are important?

There’s a lot of things to achieve in life, some of these things we’ll never achieve if we don’t have the right people around us.


Notes on being a Team player

I can tell you this now, in all the 19 champion teams that I was apart of, I was able to win because of my teammates.

I love each one of my mates and we’ll always have our triumphant moments on the podium. Without all of us stepping up and doing the job, we never would have won and I’d never be able to write an article like this.  I can honestly say I wasn’t the best player in most of those teams – there were some legends and some extraordinary individuals in my time – but I can tell you I was and still am one of the best team players (winning 19 championships isn’t entirely a fluke). I think being a team player is the most important skill in teamwork.

Team player’s work to enhance the “glue” that binds a team together. They see the detail at every stage, what role every individual plays and they also see the big picture – the team strengths, the individual weaknesses and the actions required to make it all work.  In this article, I wanted to share with you my top six principles on how to build a winning team.


1. Get your goals in order

Whatever it is, get your vision right and your goals in place. When you do this well enough, you will then be able to identify people to fit your team.  Here are some good questions that ask:

  • What is your team’s vision?
  • What’s your team’s dream?
  • What do you want to achieve?
  • What is your goal?
  • Who are the best people to achieve this vision?


2. Get your communications in place

Communication lines set the foundation for the entire team – it is the lifeblood of the team. If the communication links are strong and everyone is on the same page, then the team will always be working towards your team goal effectively and efficiently. Communication also helps everyone to understand where they are at a particular point in real time and how well (or not so well) they are progressing.

Here are some ways to start good communication in your team:

  • Learn your teammate’s names – the big one, make sure you respect everyone in your team so you can start to build a solid relationship towards a common goal
  • Learn to actively listen – show understanding and interest in your teammate’s lives and hobbies
  • Be open to your teammate’s communication style and personality traits – everyone is individual and they express themselves in their own way. Be open and willing to understand your teammates.


Want to know more about how to build winning teams? Read on below!

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