UConn Team Culture

Jul 01, 2024

The attitude and spirit in which you approach practice, games and life as a student-athlete directly influence success at the end of the year. UConn is a prime example. To win back-to-back NCAA Championships you need more than talented players, you need buy-in from top to bottom. The only way to create buy-in is to make sure every single player on your team understands what is expected of them on any given day. Culture must be defined and practiced daily if you want to be a great team. 

UConn's 4 Tenants of Team Culture

1. Be selfless with your words & your actions

2. Be process driven not results motivated 

3. Be a relentless competitor 

4. Be a mindful & intelligent communicator

Let's break these down further: 

1. The team comes first. Every decision you make on and off the field has to be with your team in mind. "Am I putting the good of the pack above my own self-interest?" Selfishness is the killer of talented teams. As a leader on the field you also need to be a leader off it. Meaning you take pride in your academics, celebrate & support other's talents, and understand that the way you treat others directly effects how you team is viewed by the community. 

2. If you obsess over results you will constantly be disappointed. The game isn't fair and hard-work isn't always rewarded. You mission is to focus on the process, to keep stacking positive days and to roll with the punches. This attitude is infectious when adopted by the leaders of the team. 

3. You have to be a dog on the field. There is no alternative. Nobody should ever have to question your commitment to your craft, and your hunger to win. If you want to be a leader, you need to lead from the front, & that means you need to play harder than everyone. Force your teammates to match your intensity and they will raise their level of play in-turn. 

4. Emotional intelligence is an incredibly important skill as an athlete. You need to be self-aware and understand that how you talk to people has a direct influence over their mood and level of play. As a leader, you need to communicate with every player on your team in a different way based on the situation. Take pride in being smart enough to tell the difference between laziness and timidness, between anxiety and frustration. Helping others control their emotions and channel more positive outcomes is the #1 responsibility of a leader.  


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