“There is power in moments that is why certain experiences can jolt us and elevate us and change us ” – Chip and Dan Heath
Everyone reading this article wants to elevate their position, unit or program to the next level. One way of doing this is to create more moments or experiences in your program or unit. Most of these examples are things we have done and they are cost ineffective. They are things that can be implemented today to change, drive or increase the urgency of a group or team. Here are five ways to use moments to create an emotional attachment to your group or team.
Number 1: Each year, I purchased my team wristbands with the yearly theme or team theme on it. Different colors, text, anything to make it exciting for the kids. I also suggest getting enough if possible for the faculty and staff. Want to create buy-in from them? Make sure they feel as though they are apart of the team. Some years I did multiple wristbands. One was for off-season workouts with our winter theme and then our regular season theme. Kids love wristbands. Buy them, create them and come up with a unique way to give them out. MAKE IT A BIG DEAL!
Number 2: How many of you work at a school where there is a disconnect between the band, cheerleaders and football program? Even if there isn’t, I have a way to get everyone of the same page. One of my favorite after the game traditions is the singing of the school alma mater. After the game my team heads over to the band. The cheerleaders in front of us and we all embrace and sing the alma mater. The number of fans that stay in the stands to take video of this and the buy-in we get from the Principal and Athletic Director is amazing.
Number 3: One of the best things, I took from Randy Jackson’s book Culture Defeats Strategy was Dinner with a Coach. The basis of the idea is to learn more about your players in a setting that allows for open conversation to learn more about who they are as a person rather than as a player. On at least 1 Sunday a month I had 10 players come to the school for dinner with me from 4 to 6 in the off-season to talk about parents, where they were from, what they wanted to do after high school, etc. This also gave the players a chance to know and ask questions about me. If you are a position coach or a coordinator I encourage you to do this at well. A lot of coaches do this at their home and a few do it at the fieldhouse, no matter the location players love it. If you have a booster club get it catered, if not, get some Gatorade and a few Little Caesars pizza and watch the conversation flow! Watch how these few hours go fast but these are the moments your kids will never forget.
Number 4: Pictures and Videos. Today’s student-athletes love Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram. Invest in those moments. If your team can’t afford a photographer, I am sure a student at your school is into photography, video and editing. Get them on your OPS, On-Field Personnel Staff. At Newton we had pictures and video, at Tri-Cities we had pictures from every game taken. We did graphics on Twitter for everything, Weight Room to Athlete of the Week. Kids love it! Programs can’t take enough pictures. They should be used to create excitement and moments in everything kids do!
Number 5: 9th grade signing day. Moments make them memorable. One thing that I see more and more programs doing is having signing day for 9th graders in conjunction with their 9th grade informational meeting. I think this is great and a fantastic way to get 9th grade parents and players excited and bought in to your program. You are putting on your best face, making the players and parents feel like they are important to you, which they are as the future of your program. A chance for them to put on the jersey, be on the stage, share that moment with family is huge in your program.
There are several more ways you can create moments in your program. As a staff sit down and talk about them! These are important and create excitement and buy-in. Believe in the power of moments.
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