At 3:15pm this afternoon the Victoria Park Soccer Club men’s team had their first win. After the game the club met at our place to drink beer and eat snaggers and celebrate the milestone.
But as much as the win was great what was better was the way the boys played. They played hard and tough but they played fair. They refused to be intimidated by their opponents. They didn’t back chat the ref and they kept their language under control.
In the end the result was an outcome of the way we played and that’s what’s worth celebrating.
But it hasn’t always been this way. Three weeks ago I thought the team was about to implode. The boys back-chatted the ref to the point of being insulting, their language made the few supporters we had cringe and their teamwork was abysmal.
Why the difference? There are two main factors at play here. The first is that we had a team meeting where together we agreed to a set of team rules that governed our conduct both on and off the pitch on match day. These were rules that the team created and agreed to be bound to. Everyone has taken playing by these rules seriously.
The second factor is time. In building a team it takes time to build a connection and understanding and culture. This level of connection doesn’t happen over night but as the team works together during training an understanding builds about who can be counted to be where. Only time builds this understanding.
So, when I finally sat down and had a beer this afternoon I reflected with a great deal of pride about the progress we’ve made as a team. There’s a long way to go and lots of obstacles to overcome for us to have success in the long term. Today was a big step in the right direction.