New Zealand thrive on fraternal instinct
Team building methods change but the principle of bonding is the same as getting to know one another is a great way to build trust.
Steve Hansen, head coach of New Zealand, knows a thing or two about the psychological importance of team bonding.
The All Blacks are the most successful side in modern rugby, and Hansen believes fostering and nurturing a family-like atmosphere within the squad is fundamental.
“We see ourselves as a big family,” the former Wales head coach, 56, said last month. “We are a group of people trying to achieve a common goal, which put simply is to win every game, to make people proud of us. And to do that, we have to be all on the same page.”
Martyn Williams, who won 100 caps for Wales between 1996 and 2012, played under Hansen for two years.
If you don’t know each other or care about each other, you’re not going to perform together on the pitch “Back in the day it would all be about going out and having a few beers together; that’s how we’d get to know each other,” he says. “In the professional game you can’t do that regularly any more.
“Team spirit can be built, though. I recall Steve asking me how many brothers and sisters another player had.”
Williams wasn’t sure, which highlighted to him the need to know his team-mates better, in turn building trust among the squad.
“You need to know what makes each other tick off the field,” Williams says. “Steve’s point was: if you don’t know each other or care about each other, you’re not going to perform together on the pitch. That was a real turning point for me in my career.”
All smiles: getting to known your team-mates is a great way to improve team spirit
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