As a coach or sports club manager, you’ll know that a strong, successful team is more than just a group of talented individuals with immense skill sets. It is a close-knit group of players who work together to achieve a shared goal. Teams like this do not happen by accident – coaches and managers have to invest a lot of time in training and team building to help them think as one.
Whether you teach team sports like basketball, football, netball, hockey and cricket, or manage a team of individual athletes (e.g. swimmers, divers, runners or gymnasts), going on a sports tour can really help you improve your team’s confidence, enthusiasm, motivation and performance. Here are just a few of the ways that going on a sports tour can benefit you and your team.
A positive team culture is essential to a high-performing team. If there is tension, upset or unhealthy competition between players or athletes, then this is likely to reflect the way the team performs as a whole. On the flipside, players that like each other and understand their fellow team members’ strengths and weaknesses are able to work well together. Going on a sports tour is an ideal way to break down any barriers within a team, as it allows players to spend a few days getting to know each other beyond the usual school environment, where external factors and societal pressures can often play a big part in intra-team relationships.
A sports tour offers a unique opportunity that cannot be gained from standard school trips or holidays away. If you choose to take your team abroad, then not only will your players get to visit a new country, but they will be able to experience different sports cultures and training styles. In the US, for example, high school and college teams are a big part of sports scenes, and most matches are even televised.
In countries with warm climates, the heat offers new challenges for sports teams (heat training is a popular option for many athletes). New experiences like these can really help with making your team more open-minded, knowledgeable and engaged – both within sport and in everyday life in general.
Confidence and skills
Giving your players the chance to compete against high-calibre teams is a great way to get them excited about the sport and hone their skills. It will also encourage them to work together as a team, in order to figure out how they can beat the opposing side.
This will help to boost their confidence immensely – especially if they win! They will experience the natural highs and lows that come with playing their chosen sport at a professional or semi-professional level, which will help them (and you, as the coach or manager) to iron out any sticky areas that crop up. Regardless of how they perform while they are away, they will probably return to training with a renewed sense of achievement, positivity and direction.
Going on a sports tour allows you to gain insight into other people’s training techniques, which you can then try out with your team. You may just find that another coach’s method works perfectly with your players – whether this is to do with how you talk to them, the extent to which you get physically involved during training sessions, or just the types of drills that you use.
Players may also find that they connect with a certain training approach or activity more than others, and they can ask you to replicate this in future sessions. This sort of discovery can give you a competitive edge against other clubs and teams in your area, as it lets you build up a variety of techniques that other groups will probably not have explored.
Getting to meet your heroes and role models is always a huge inspiration – especially for young sports enthusiasts. For example, taking your team of footballers to a famous stadium and letting them ‘meet and greet’ professional players, is a great way to get their minds racing about their own sporting futures. Whatever their age, inspiration is crucial – it gives them confidence that, if they work hard enough and get involved, they can fulfil their ambitions.
These are just five reasons that sports tours are beneficial for your team. As well as giving your players confidence, motivation and inspiration, sports trips can also help you develop new training techniques and cement relationships within the team. Now that’s what we call a win! To find out more about organising a sports tour for your team, contact us at Sport Experiences today.