5 Tips for Improving Teamwork on Your Youth Sports Team

youth sports team on soccer field

A team can’t be successful without teamwork! When you’re coaching a youth sports team, the best thing to teach them is the importance of teamwork. Learning at a young age what it’s like to be a part of a team and how to work well with others will benefit them throughout the rest of their lives. If you are looking to improve teamwork on your youth sports team, follow these 5 tips:

1. Encourage a Positive Attitude

Attitude is so important when it comes to all sports, but especially youth sports. Teach your team the importance of staying positive regardless if you’re winning or losing. You can’t control if you’re having a bad game and shots aren’t falling or serves aren’t going over the net, but you can control your attitude. Getting down on yourself will only hurt the team in the long run. Keeping a positive attitude and encouraging each other to do well helps everyone work better as a team!

2. Plan Team Building Activities

A group of kids on a Smoky Mountain sports team putting their hands in together,One of the best ways to get your team performing more like a team is to strengthen the bond between all of the members. Team building activities help everyone get to know each other better and build trust with one another. A popular team building activity is completing a high ropes course! You can also go ziplining together or try simple activities that allow everyone to have fun together, like relay races or the Human Knot. During the Human Knot, each person grabs a hand across from them and when all hands are connected, everyone must work their way out without letting go. It builds problem solving as a team and requires successful communication!

3. Plan a Retreat Together

Sometimes the key to improving teamwork is some time away with each other. Teams work best together when everyone is comfortable with each other. When you have a bunch of kids who don’t know each other and aren’t used to playing with each other, it can be difficult to get them to work cohesively as a team. Plan a retreat where you can all spend time learning more about each other and practicing. You can go camping, or even spend a weekend away in a cabin!

4. Encourage Each Other

basketball team high fiveEncouragement is extremely beneficial in a cohesive team. When kids are taught early on to encourage others, whether it’s lifting them up when they’re having a bad game or congratulating them when they make an amazing play, they will have success on every team they’re a part of. Teach them to high-five each other after great plays, motivate each other to play better, and cheer each other on from the sidelines. Encouragement will create a more positive atmosphere and improve how everyone works together as a team.

5. Teach Them to Play for Each Other Not Themselves

When you’re young, it’s easy to get wrapped up in how you’re performing rather than how the whole team is performing. Teach the members of your youth sports team to play for each other, not for themselves. Show them how to become a “we” player instead of a “me” player. A “we” player understands they are part of a team and is more concerned with helping the team win, regardless of their individual role. A “me” player is only concerned with the aspects of the game that affect them, like how many points they score. To be successful, you need a team full of “we” players. Ask your team this question: Would I be happier if I played really well and the team lost, or if I didn’t play well but the team won?” and see what your team members have to say.

About Rocky Top Sports World

A field with views of the mountains at Rocky Top Sports World.Rocky Top Sports World is just minutes away from downtown Gatlinburg, TN and is one of the best tournament destinations in the United States. Our 80-acre state-of-the-art sports campus is bigger and better than any other venue in the region. Check out a complete list of our upcoming tournaments on our Rocky Top Sports World Events Calendar!