Team Rules… Social Contract
Remember the first time you got in real trouble? Like you did something wrong, and you knew it right away. You knew that you were going to pay for that rash decision you just made. “Wait until your father gets home!” may have even been heard in the back of your head right after you did whatever it was that you did. Growing up we all had rules. We knew what they were, and if we didn’t abide by them, we were punished right? Sometimes there were unwritten rules that you had to find out the hard way and other times they were posted on the refrigerator or the wall, and you knew darn well if you stepped out of bounds, things could get ugly.
As a kid growing up, I had two older brothers who led the way for me. I learned more about what to do and what not to do from them, than I did from my own actions. I was lucky, some people don’t have that in their lives. I had, and still have, a very supportive family. Right or wrong, they were there and continue to be there for me. Rules broken or rules followed, my family was there.
Our football family made rules last week. Except we don’t call them rules, we call it a contract. Just like a pro athlete has a contract, we have a contract for our coaches and players to live up to. That’s right, our coaches and players both will live up to this contract. We sat down as a family, and laid out on the table what is expected of everyone. Not just the athletes, but the coaches as well. Instead of labeling 1, 2 ,3 up on the board, we just wrote a bunch of words up on the board. Words of what we expect from one another. Words that we want to live by this season. Words that will guide us throughout the year, win or lose, our family will be expected to live up to. Words such as honesty, integrity, effort, discipline, commitment to name only a few. Every member of our family had a say in the development of our team contract and every member of our family is responsible for living up to these standards set forth by our team. If one of our family members forgets one of these words in a time of conflict, we have 70 other family members to help them remember what we are all about.
Team Rules…. Social Contract, if your team develops it, they believe it and they will abide by it, and if they don’t, that’s why we have the family around them. After all, team and family should be interchangeable terms right?
How do you develop your team policies? Do the players have a say in the contract that they are expected to follow, or is it strictly set forth by the coaching staff? I am interested to hear your thoughts on this topic.