Having a large number of great players on a team is not enough to be successful as you need team chemistry to build trust and keep things flowing the correct way. There are many ways to build this kind of trust and rapport with your team, but take a look at the ways that some of the great U.S. National Team players and coaches and their tactics to improving team chemistry.
Straight from the head honcho of the U.S. Women’s National Team is Karch Kiraly with some sage advice: “We talk a log about being selfless instead of selfish. That’s not easy to do. But if lots of people are doing it, then it helps each teammate feel special.”
Some examples of this would be: “If somebody dives for a ball, is somebody else sprinting over to pick them up or is everybody kind of ignoring that person after she had put out great effort? Are people looking each other in the eye or are they turning away from somebody after she makes a mistake? Are people facing each other directly, giving high fives, making physical contact? All of those things are ways players can elevate the play of their teammates,” said Kiraly.
By simply being there for your teammates during the good and bad of a match, you are subtly building up team chemistry. Though this cohesiveness is not just built through exercises on the court, you need to build this chemistry away from the gym.
“Find a way to spend time with your teammates outside of the gym. Go to the beach, see a movie or have lunch with some of your teammates. Spending quality times outside of the gym, in my opinion, helps build better relationships with better communication and stronger trust that can help your team chemistry on the court,” said Team USA libero, Erik Shoji.
This same concept was explained by Natalie Hagglund. You have to get to know your teammates, the trivial things such as how many siblings, their favorite color to a more deep and personal level like what have you sacrificed to be where you are today?
All of these things build up a team on and off the court and can be the make or break of how successful a team can or will really be.