Thursday, November 3, 2016

Team Chemistry What is it?

Can a team be considered a good team without good chemistry? Sure many people think so. Before the 2013 MLB season began the Anaheim Angels were considered by many baseball predictors to be the best team in baseball. They had accumulated a roster of allstar players that on paper was intimidating. Josh Hamilton, Albert Pujols, CJ Wilson, Mike Trout , Mark Trumbo,Erick Aybar, Jared Weaver Chris Ianetta. Howie Kendrick. An impressive list of talent that many thought would run away with the division title and world series. However this team finished the season below 500 and 18 games back in their division race. Some might say that injuries played a part of their dismal season but I believe that chemistry was not good. They had arguably the most talented roster in major league baseball but could not win consistently. 

What is this chemistry. Chemistry is a bond, a glue, a relationship, within the team. Chemistry does not require teammates to be best friends but requires teammates to hold each other accountable. And when one teammate holds another accountable their feelings of resentment and anger upoun the initial reaction go away quickly because the player being scorned realizes that he is playing for the name on the front and not the name on the back of his shirt. 
Teams with good chemistry will always realize that the greater of the team is the utmost importance and not their own individual accomplishments. The players will always seek for ways that they can contribute more for the betterment of the team. They will always ask the question of what else can I do to help this team. 
Players will be quick to accept responsibility for their failures without shame or poutiness because they know that their body language will tell the rest of then team that we are ok because someone else is going to make a big play here or get the big hit.

Teams with chemistry play with more passion and excitement. They play with a high level of focus to the very smallest of details. They will pick up on a signal that the other teams use to gain valuable insight. They will pick up a players tendencies and then find a way to stop him with that knowledge.

Teams with good chemistry open their arms and embrace new people into their group and show them with communication and encouragement the way to go.

Teams with good chemistry will have disagreements about direction and strategy from time to time but the difference is that one side or the other will drop their pride and ego and say ok I support your idea lets make this thing work and if it fails they do not point fingers or say I told you so they simply say it was worth a try and learn why it did not work. There is no time for argument in certain situations. Such as a pitcher not wanting to throw a certain pitch as the catcher wants. That pitcher must be comfortable about what he is throwing. So the catcher must support him and make him feel like that is a great idea. When people have support they will execute with confidence. When they are being questioned they begin to question .

A team of chemistry does not just have one person to lead. It will have many leaders. It will have many players who will take note of the atmosphere that he is surrounded by. every member on the team has a responsibility to add to the chemistry. Chemistry is not argumentative or fighting but it is challenging. A good chemistry player will challenge the other players on the team to work harder , play with more confidence, become cocky and arrogant and bold enough to pull the team together to beat the opponent.

There are several questions that each player must ask of themselves to determine whether or not your team has good chemistry. Additionally those questions must be answered  honestly.

1. Am I being a teammate that displays passion and energy through my actions and words?
2. When a teammate fails what does my body language say to him?
3. When my teammate is in a crucial situation does he know that I am supportive or does he feel threatened that if he fails he is letting the team down. Did I make that teammate believe he was going to do well or not.
4. Am I playing the game as hard and focused as I possibly can.
5. When I fail what does my body language say to my team.

What role does a coach have in team chemistry?
Some but not as much as one might think. A coach is a leader of the team through his communication to his players. His strategy of the game and his decision making process of doing so. He must watch the chemistry of a team and support it when required through talks with the team or individual players.

Here is what players need to understand. Coaches come and go. Players come and go as well. The chemistry is your attitude and approach to the game and the team that you play for. Are you a cancer or a chemistry.

If one person or even 4 or 5 people leave a team as well as a coach what do you do? Do you work to get those people back or do you work to get the new ones successful. Nothing in this world stays the same for very long. If it did then the same professional teams would always win year in and year out. But the complexion change always and sometimes so do the results.

The original Thunder team is not anywhere near the same complexion it was as November of 2011. There are 5 original players left. It took close to 1 season to win the very first tourney. At the end of each season since then we have had players leave and add new players to replace them as well. We continued to have success. Players played hard they were not perfect but thy played hard. They would leave it all on the field every time. They did so because of why. Was it because of the coach. Some might say yes. But can a coach force a player to play with every ounce of energy and passion he has. I would hope not. I would hope that the player would have enough respect for the game that he would play with that passion for any coach. It is about the game not about the coach or the player. It is about the game and how each player treats it. This game is going to be around a lot longer than any of us and is a lot bigger than any of us.

If your coach is why you play the game hard then when that coach is gone you will not be any good. Your coach should try and get the most out of you that he possibly can through direction and guidance but you should be providing the spirit.

Are you only good because of the team you are on and the coach you play for or is it because of what you bring to contribute to each team and coach.

Think about that and study your chemistry test!!!!!

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