This is a story of a high school volleyball team. The players on the team were led by a coach and his staff who made it his philosophy to put team chemistry as a priority and a motivational model for his players. On the way to a state championship he vowed to make sure he got everyone of his players in a game, and he did just that, even the Junior Varsity players called up after their season was over.
In one particular playoff game he put a boy in who had to serve. The young man blasted a serve that hit the far wall. Did he take the boy out, no? After the game, which they won, I was in the hallway the players had to go through to get to the locker-room. All of them were talking about this boy playing, and not the final score. When I mentioned it to the coach he smiled, said thank you for noticing, and stated it was all part of the plan to build the team togetherness. The victories would take care of themselves after the team chemistry was established.
His assistant coach said to me that the team is winning so they attract good character players. Possibly. But what really happened was the head coach instilled a philosophy of sportsmanship, fun, and playing a lot of kids. Players trying out for the team were aware of the chemistry on the team and tryouts were inclusive of all players. Everyone was made aware of this paradigm before during and after tryouts this meant players that did not fit the mold he was forming normally did not go out for his team or left after they found out that selfishness was not tolerated. It’s a reciprocal truth so it works.