Culture Inspires Better Team Play

A positive culture creates an atmosphere for better performance!

Think about a time when you were a part of a team, a group of people working to accomplish a goal together. Were you connected with your peers and your leaders? Did you belong to the team or was it just a ‘job’ or activity for you?

How much fun was it? Were you energized to be a part of the team or was it a drudgery? Hopefully, your experiences were amazing but too often, being a part of a team is less than what we hope. Why? The difference between an amazing experience versus something less is most likely related to the culture of the team.

For teams, culture is its character.

At OTL, our heartbeat is our culture. We crave both authentic and amazing experiences for our athletes, our coaches, and our parents.

We know teams that are connected perform better than teams who aren’t and coaches connected to their team’s coach better. Athletes and coaches that are connected are ultimately impacted for life. Also, we happen to be great at teaching and coaching volleyball, too! Our culture is based on three guiding elements – learning, communication, and motive.

Culture is simply a shared way of doing something with a passion.

Learning defines the posture and perspective of each athlete and coach. Those craving to learn are expressing their desire to better themselves, to grow, to change. But learning is hard.

It requires one to discover, expose, discuss and embrace their strengths and weaknesses. Then, learners need to put their learning to practice by trying and then changing their behavior, individually and together.

Because learning is so hard, we work to create an environment where athletes and coaches own their learning, can trust each other and develop relationships that matter. In this way, we can make learning fun, trusted and powerful. We are all imperfect. At OTL, we strive for authenticity over perfection.

Our secret weapon for building the best culture is open and honest feedback.

As an athlete and coach participating in a team sport, you have often heard how important communication is on the court. As a team, as communication improves, performance improves. With practice, you begin to trust your teammates and coaches. You trust the style of play, the strategy and you execute faster and better. Just as communication on the court is important, so is communication off the court.

By communicating with one another and getting to be known by each other, people begin to become connected in a deeper way. This connection transcends the court, it develops lifelong friends. But communication, like learning, is hard.

It takes time to listen and understand. It takes developing additional skills to clarify and initiate. OTL works to build those character-type skills, engaging you in team bonding activities from traveling together to fun team challenges during practice.

“True leadership stems from individuality that is honestly and sometimes imperfectly expressed… Leaders should strive for authenticity over perfection.” – Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Slack.

Getting a team to come together, to connect, to learn, to communicate requires some sort of glue, something to help us attach to each other. This glue is motive. A motive is a reason why we try something, the reason we get engaged. Someone with a good motive will engage powerfully, be present, support one another, embrace learning and communicate.

If a teammate doesn’t have a good motive, their behaviors distract which separates the team versus bringing the team together. At OTL Volleyball, our core motive is to be ‘for’ one another. We want our athletes and coaches to care for one another, to encourage, support and embrace each other.

In short, be ‘for’ one another. We hope our athletes and coaches check their motive, look out for one another and support the team. We hope our culture inspires our coaches and teams to bind together with great motive, embrace learning and communicate with excellence.

With training, games and fun experiences in this culture, we hope to impact people in ways that transcend volleyball and impact athletes and coaches for life.