An Elite Club Team Wins The Match

What Is An Elite Club Culture? 

What does having an elite club culture mean? How does one define elite? Is elite something that we should all set out to achieve or aspire for in sports? 

Since the dawn of completive sports, the work "elite" has been folded into its broad vocabulary and many sports clubs see themselves as being an elite club within their respective sports. This does tend to drive the desire for young aspiring pro sports players to want to get into and play for these "elite" sports clubs as they see it as a stepping stone in the right direction. 

But what exactly is "elite"? In a recent EXACT Sports Membercast, Tony Robinson a former pro-soccer player and current club coach said that elite is defined at the individual club level by the coaching staff and team. In other words, one persons elite can be completely different that another persons definition of elite. 

Therefore, it's safe to say that the beast way to define "elite" is that it encompasses a set of ideals that every club strives to achieve within a given season and lives into these ideals to support the direction of the program as a whole. 

The Athlete Performance Manual Written By A Nationwide Network of College Coaches

How To Build An Elite Club Culture

So how does a club set out to build an elite club culture in soccer, baseball, basketball, or even volleyball? As Tony Robinson mentioned, the club coaching staff must take the lead on setting the tone and defining the overall vision of their elite culture mission. 

Top Questions To Ask When Building an Elite Club Culture:

1.  How do I as a coach help to create more leaders within my club program? 

2. Do we have a strong and trusted team support system that allows players to be honest with one and other? 

3. What are the key mental toughness and athlete performance areas I need to focus on as a coach in order to better the team as a whole? 

4. Do we play with honesty and humility as top core values within the club?

5. How do we as a club approach failure and what do we do to learn from our mistakes?

These key 5 questions will help you start the elite culture build within your club and help you set the tone with your coaching staff, players and parents of players.   

Top 3 Tips For Sports Club Athletes

Here are some top tips for athletes who wish to help build an elite club culture for their soccer, basketball, baseball, and/or volleyball club teams. 

Tip #1 Create An Accountability System 

Take responsibility for your actions and hold your teammates to those same high standards, regardless of the situation. Creating a accountability system that's built on trust and support will enviably improve your team's overall culture. The most "elite" sports teams in the world have strong teammate accountability systems build into their DNA. 

Tip #2 Hold A Positive Space For Teammates Thoughts

Having a team culture where you can hold a positive and safe space to hear one and other out on team issues, personal issues, and proactive thoughts is key to building a tight knit "elite" team. Many elite sports teams treat their teammates as though they were family  and as such they approach issues within the team and specific situations from a caring and understanding mindset. Creating an environment where players feel understood, respected, and hear will translate into the game day performance. 

Tip #3 Help Where You Can  

If you notice a teammate is in need of advancing their performance by incorporating a key skill that you process as a player, then it's your responsibility to step up and help that teammate achieve their greatness. An "elite" team is like a convey, they must all work in unison to get to their destination, if one teammate is falling behind then the entire team is falling behind. This since of care for one and others athletic and mental toughness growth is essential when achieving elite status as a team. 

Club Coach and Elite Player Talk On The Sidelines

Top 3 Tips For Sports Club Coaches

Here are some top tips for club coaches who wish to help build an elite club culture for their soccer, basketball, baseball, and/or volleyball club teams. 

Tip #1 Define the Vision and Set the Tone

You are the leader of this club team and it is your responsibility to be the first to set the stage for what it means to be elite within your club's culture. Along with your fellow coaching staff, clearly define these core values and allow them to steer the team top tier objectives for the upcoming season. Do the values lend themselves to a clearly defined tone? If so, use that as the central engine that drives team moral and helps to instill belief within the players. 

Tip #2 Identify Leaders and Create New Leaders

Every club team has a natural leader within its roster, perhaps more than one at times. As the coach, you need to elevate that leader, hold them to the standards that you've built within the elite club culture vision. Let them help to make an example of what it means to be a part of your club team. At the same time, are highly aware of the growth certain players achieve throughout the season and find new ways to cultivate a leadership mentality within as many players as possible. 

Tip #3 Create The Convoy Effect Within Your Sports Club

Used by the military and by top elite sports teams across the world, treating your club sports team as though they were a convoy where players needed to work together in order to achieve a common goal, the mission at hand if you will. Player growth will continue to flourish within your sports club team and new leaders will be born from this culture that you've helped create.   

Soccer Player Shoots For A Goal In an Elite Soccer Match

EXACT Sports Membercast

EXACT Sports Membercast, a key part of the EXACT Member program, is a virtual live event and podcast that explores top compelling topics within the sports coach community and sports industry as a whole. Each month, a featured set of guest coaches and industry thought leaders come together and discuss those important topics while exploring solutions to current industry issues. 

Membercast provides an exclusive window into the professional lives of top coaches from around the world and gives valuable insights that can better prepare aspiring coaches and athletes within the sports industry. Membercast serves as a meaningful education source for club coaches, high school coaches, athletes, and parents of young athletes.

Want to learn more about how to build an elite club culture in sports? 
Click the Membercast episode banner below and gain insights from Coach Johnston and Coach Robinson as they discuss how to build an elite club culture. 
EXACT Membercast Ep.1 "Building An Elite Club Culture" Promotional Banner