The Culture Journey Week #17 – What Makes Up A Good Teammate & Handshaking

Week 17

Final pre-season Coach Meeting
We had our final pre-season coach meeting last night. I am encouraged by the progress we have made as a staff over the past few months. We are not perfect yet, but there is power in just sitting down and getting to know each other, listen to each others’ stories, and talking about our visions for the team. Even though we all have very different styles and certainly don’t see eye-to-eye on each others’ philosophies, there is a tangible growth and respect amongst each other that makes being together more and more enjoyable.

​​​​​​​As we come into the upcoming Hell Week to kickstart our practices, there are 2 things we are doing at our first practice that I am very excited about:

1 – What does it being a good teammate mean to you?
I am pumped about our head coach recommending that we start out our first team meeting next week by asking the team what their definition is of being a good teammate. We are going to have a large sheet of paper where we write all of their responses down. Then we are going to ask them if they all agree to being held to these standards, and if they do to sign their name on the page with these descriptions.

2 – Handshaking
The head coach also said he wants to start off the first practice with the kids lining up by class, then having each elder class shake hands with the younger classes and welcome them to the team, shake their hand, and tell them they are glad they are here and they will support them and help them any way they can.
I thought of James Leath’s post about teaching kids how to look each other in the eye and what a proper handshake looks like, so I asked the coach if we could teach the kids the proper way to shake hands and he liked the idea. Check out James’ article on this and what his first practice each season looks like (I have learned a great deal from James but this is my favorite must-read article): First-Day-of-Practice

We also discussed having all the coaches take turns talking through our ROOTS values (taken from PCA) over the course of the season so that we don’t lose sight of them the way we have historically. Quick, 5-minute or less, stories we can share to keep sight on who we are and how we do things.

It’s been quite a journey over the past 17 weeks getting ready for practice #1. We’ve taken baby-steps towards turning this team’s culture around, I’m pumped to get it started! These boys are worth it!

Have a great week and keep fighting for your culture everyday!

I am excited to walk this journey with you. I welcome any feedback, ideas, and suggestions you might have as you read through this. You are also welcome to share this with any other coaches you think could benefit from it, and please have them email me at [email protected] if they would like to be added to this email list.

If you are interested in diving deeper on building culture we have started a mastermind group that meets the first and third Wednesday of each month at 12:30 pm EST, see the details at: It is exciting to be with likeminded world-changers.

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