Team members need to get rid of their anxiety in order to continue to be productive and efficient. In the critical moments of a game or meeting, any good coach should use a team huddle to encourage and focus team members. Since traditional team huddle cheers only do so much toward this objective, a coach has to use other team huddle ideas as the team works.
Members of the opposite team always are looking for body language from their opponents that will give them some indication of what the opponents plan to do. An effective group huddle technique is to use gestures as a way of outsmarting the other team. For example, while explaining a play path verbally, a team member may point in a direction in which he has no intention of going. The team members can hear the verbal directions, but the opposing team will be tempted to rely on the gestures to plan their defense.
Coaches and team leaders often call a huddle at moments of a game or meeting when tension and expectations are highest. They also may call them to rally team members during low points in the game. In these situations, it's best to use a huddle that emphasizes what has been done correctly or what has gone right. For example, the coach may ask each team member to point out one positive thing they saw any of their team members do. The idea here is that, even if the team doesn't reach the immediate goal, the team members still know the coach believes in them and that they still have achieved or improved in some way.
Team huddles often turn into serious activities where the joy of a game or meeting is lost. To lighten the moods of team members, a coach may encourage them to compare and contrast the opposing team. For example, the coach may ask a team member what kind of animal the other team plays like, and the team member could jokingly respond with something like "monkey." The concept is not to bash the other team, but rather to give team members a funny image they can use to remind themselves that they're supposed to be having fun. The coach also can ask the team members to compare themselves. For example, a basketball player could assert he's going to take the next shot like Michael Jordan. This sort of comparison is a little like using positive affirmations.
- Photo Credit football huddle image by sparkia from Fotolia.com
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