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Care, Connect, Communicate

The "Why" Behind DYSA's Core Values
by Kate Stahlin

Last spring each DYSA team completed a Team Values worksheet. Each coach asked their players to give them 10-15 adjectives that describe a good teammate. This then became their team values and ideals that the coaches revisited over the spring season emphasizing character development. I took the team values sheets and compiled all the ideas the players provided to describe a good teammate and thought about their feedback. My end goal was to create a phrase that embodied the players’ ideas to represent our club values. This is where the phrase "Care, Connect, Communicate" originated. 

(BELOW ARE THE RESPONSES FROM OUR SPRING 2017 TEAM VALUE SHEETS that demonstrate our new philosophy)

*Number next to word is how many times it appeared on team value sheets.

Hardworking (work ethic) - 8, Positive -7 , Caring - 5 , Supportive - 5 , Respect - 5, Kindness - 5, Sportsmanship - 4 , Responsible - 4, Confident - 3 , Friendship - 3, Committed - 3, Motivated - 2 , Effort - 2 , Fun - 2 , Empathy - 2, Perseverance - 2 , Focused - 2, Strength - 3, Spirit, Proactive, Timely, Competitive, Creative, Disciplined, Giving 100%, Participation, Flexible, Reliable, Integrity, Fix your mistakes, Compassion, Loving, Exciting, Energetic, Giving, Motivating, Brave, Resilience, Don’t get mad at others.

Players get into sports for many different reasons but usually the result is that they end up caring about their teammates, coaches, and contribution to the team. To care about something means that you look out for its welfare, protect, feel responsible for, help, aid, assist, support, are mindful of, feel concern for, and attach importance to and protect. Coaches care about the players’ growth, development and well-being. DYSA is putting a lot of emphasis on the organization, coaches, and players demonstrating they care with their actions and words. The foundation of trust starts with building these bonds through working together and showing you genuinely care. Positive results come from positive relationships, which are founded on trust. 

Encouraging – 7, Honest – 4, Teamwork – 3, Friendship – 3, Helpful – 3, Unselfish – 2, Understanding – 2, Trustworthy – 2, Cooperation -2, Leadership – 2, Cohesiveness, Plays well with others, Keep our heads held high, Work together, Accountable

Teamwork is the key to successful teams. Success can be measured many different ways, but a constant is that teamwork occurs when a connection is formed between coach, players, and teammates. When every member of a team, or organization, makes an effort to connect they are demonstrating that they care. When a connection occurs and a relationship is formed there is a sense of unity, loyalty, direction and identity resulting in positive affect on members.

“COMMUNICATION” was noted more than any other trait.
Communication – 9, Good listening

In order to connect and care you have to communicate because communication is an inescapable part of our lives. It is clear that when good communication between coach and player, between teammates, and DYSA to its members occurs that it positively impacts the overall experience. The clear exchange of information, ideas, emotions and feelings is crucial to understanding each other's thoughts and feelings. Communication is the key ingredient to forming positive relationships and building trust. DYSA is striving to create a stronger club culture and establishing shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterize our organization.

Over the course of the summer I reflected on the player's feedback asking myself what it meant and where I was trying to go with the information. I thought about the club's culture and how to establish a common set of values and beliefs. I reflected on how important trust is in relationships and how to create an atmosphere were our members believe what we believe so trust will happen. I reflected about how trust develops when we are consistent in our message and actions. DYSA needs our members to trust us in order to continue to grow and create positive experiences because it often involves risk, which often involves failure. 

Reflecting on all of this is when I started to think about the "Why" of DYSA, the coaches and our staff.  My hopes are that if we understand and communicate the "why" it will build more trust.  Working with our Directors of Coaching Joanna Tucker and Amanda Raso we came up with some answer for the question of "why?"

WHY do we coach?

·      To help young people develop: empathy, resilience, respect for self and others, positive attitudes, confidence, understand consequences, teamwork, conflict resolution, communication skills, problem solving, decision making skills, leadership skills, sportsmanship, time management

·      Provide a fun outlet for children through sport

·      Build Relationships

·      Care/Be a role model

·      Love the sport - Share our passion for the game with youth

·      Raising the Level - positively promote the image and development of the game of soccer

·      Intrinsic Motivation comes from being a part of something

·      Mastery: Desire to get better and better at something that matters

·      Do what we do in service of something larger than ourselves

WHY soccer?

·      Fun!

·      Social/Friends

·      Competition

·      Work with others (Teamwork) - Be a part of something bigger than yourself

·      Exercise

·      Transference of Skills - new skills and knowledge were learned

WHY does DYSA exist?

·      To teach student-athletes how to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life

·      To help young people develop: empathy, respect for self and others, resilience, positive attitudes, confidence, understand consequences, teamwork, conflict resolution, communication skills, problem solving, decision making skills, leadership skills, sportsmanship, time management

·      Create an atmosphere of openness, cooperation, respect, and support for our youth

·      Provide a fun and rewarding outlet for children through sport

·      Build character in our student-athletes

·      Transference of skills - new skills and knowledge were learned

Creating this list was a very healthy process and I felt I truly understood the "why". The next step for DYSA was to grapple with the "how" and review the process. In order to achieve the "why" we needed to define club values, communicate club values, uphold club values, and support our members values. There needs to be continuous reflection and revisions of the process in order to best meet the needs of all parties involved. The end goal is to create a family by intertwining the following characteristics:  strong soccer community, develop character, develop soccer players, create relationships that embody trust and loyalty, be happy, and to have FUN! Thank you soccer players and coaches for creating what I feel will be a motto we live by not only in soccer but also in life. 

#Care #Connect #Communicate

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