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What relationships and team working mean

Being an elite athlete requires relationship and team working skills.

It is not just about you as an individual, it is about you as a member of a broader team even when you are playing in an individual sport.

The athletes that create the most favorable impression with their coaches, supporters, sponsors and team mates are those that handle themselves well and demonstrate people skills.


These athletes listen to other people’s ideas and suggestions, they invite feedback and constructive criticism, they show respect to their coach and teammates, they are engaging and fun to be with and they handle their emotions well.

If you act like a prima donna, then you'll quickly turn your coaches, teammates, sponsors and supporters off. Surrender the need for individual glory for the good of the team and show that you understand that winning and success come from team chemistry and the total team effort.

Keys to relationships and team working

Here are some keys to what you need to do to develop relationship and team working skills.

  Connect face-to-face with people you get on with as frequently as you can.  
  Initiate interactions and communications with people in your sport rather than waiting for other people to come to you.  
  Develop strong relationships with your coach, team mates, commentators, sponsors and members of the public.  
  Aim to be moderately assertive pushing your views and ideas at times and backing off at other times.  
Make time to have fun with, show interest in, and care for the people who matter most to you.


Watch this video

To develop your understanding of team working and team building, watch this video by coach Jay Locey discussing the philosophy of team building in football.


Read this book

Read Negotiate Like the Pros: A Top Sports Negotiator's Lessons for Making Deals, Building Relationships, and Getting What You Want by Kenneth Shropshire.