WNA Blog

Thu 14 Jun 2018

Lessons From Sport in the Art of Creating a High Performing Team

Business Consulting & Coaching
You don’t have to look too far to find examples of successful sporting teams. The New Zealand All Blacks, New York Yankees, and Manchester United are all touted as successful in their own domain for varying reasons. And with an increasing focus on women’s sport in Australia, there’s much more scope for more sporting prowess to come to the fore!

A high performing sporting team enjoys success, pride and respect, the joy of which spreads to fans. Similarly in business, well-functioning teams enable an organisation to thrive, bring out the best in the individuals, and provide better experience for customers.

What can we learn from sport?


This includes taking the time to connect with individuals and creating an environment where individuals are encouraged to connect with each other, understand each other and get to know each other. For a high performing team, connection also involves connecting to a shared purpose that goes beyond individual goals. This includes having a collaborative and supportive approach where the more experienced in the team can act as role models and mentors for the less experienced. Strong connection requires clear communication and a common language to promote relatedness and a sense of belonging.


Clear, established and widely communicated team values are a building block for team development. Consistency across individual and team values plays an important part. Values such as honesty and speaking the truth are vital, as well as values that promote a desire to leave a legacy or create a footprint. These include achievement, accountability, positivity, integrity and adaptability.


A mindset of belief at the individual and team level is a must. This includes belief in ability to perform at the best an individual or team is capable of, and creating an attitude of wanting to grow and succeed. This also involves being persistent in reaching outcomes, being consistent in behaviours, and always being prepared to tackle every situation with a winning mindset day in, day out.

A key component of a high performing team is trust. Trust in each other, trust in the systems that support outcomes and delivery, and trust in leadership. An effective leader can inspire and motivate individual team members to play their role on the team, as well as be part of something bigger than themselves.

What sporting lessons can you bring into your business, team or role?

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