Team Building

Team Building

Deciding upon starting a team or joining a team can and will be one of the most rewarding life experiences you can embark upon. The joy of individuals coming together , working hard, and accomplishing common goals will be an experience that one will more than likely never forget. The team building process can be a daunting task as many of us have truly never have been involved on a team with defined goals, or have been on teams which have adopted the name in principal, but have failed to truly adapt and understand the true meaning of being on a team. Although this article is written for people who are interested in the team building process for skydiving, the formula may easily be adapted to any sport or business setting.


The Desire

The team building process really starts out with a thought, passion, or desire. The desire to challenge yourself (or group) to become better than you currently are, to strive for and achieve desired goals, or to experience the joy of accomplishing something with friends, peers, or colleagues. It all starts out with a seed of thought, which when properly cared for and tended to will grow into something much larger than itself. Desire starts from the conception of a thought which is to Conceive. If you are truly are passionate about your thought or concept, and you Believe it in your core being, you will more than likely work hard towards accomplishing it in its physical form which is to Achieve.

A basic formula to the team building process is:

Conceive + Believe = Achieve


Where to Start

To get started on the team building process (If starting a new team) is to find just one other individual who may have similar thoughts, desires, or goals that you may have. The easiest way to get other people interested in the possibility of doing a skydiving team is to get out and jump together! Stay committed to improving your skills by jumping together and avoid the temptation to jump with anyone and everyone. People will take notice of both your commitment to each other and your increased skill set moving forward. This alone has attracted other jumpers to want to get involved with what you are starting to create. Jumping or participating in the actual activity that you want to build a team for is powerful in getting people excited about your conceptual thought. You will know if the two of you have chemistry, enjoy spending time together, have similar skill sets, and both have a desire and passion to either start or get on a skydiving team. Energy is contagious, and the collective energy of 2 people far outweighs that of an individual in an effort to attract others to join or buy into the concept of joining a team.


How to find potential teammates

Obviously telling people that you are looking to build a team is paramount to the process. Utilize any and all networks that you may have which may include: word of mouth, social networks, blogs, message boards, and various websites can help in getting the word out.

A valuable and often under utilized tool in the team building process is the power of contacting professional coaches. They are connected to a wide variety of people and may be able to give you great recommendations on people who also may be interested in joining a team. They may also have great insight on potential teammates in regards to skill levels, personalities, and their potential to learn. Professional coaches want to help you out, as this may lead to additional coaching for them when the team materializes. All coaches are accessible and would love to help you out; yet, you will more than likely need to take the initiative and either pick up a phone or send out an email to them.

Another great venue to find teammates is to get involved in local competitions and attend skills camps! It does not matter if the event is geared towards 2,4,6,8,10 ways, or whatever magical number it may look like. The main point here is to get involved. The same people who participate in these events are the very ones that have the same interest as you have in the sport. People love personal growth and competition as it brings out the best in them; therefore, you may be surprised who you may find and click with just by being around in this environment.


Getting people interested (buying into your program)

First I will start out by stating what to avoid when putting out the word and looking for teammates. There have been many team building projects which have never gotten past the conceptual phase due to alienating 90% of possible teammates. People by nature tend to avoid commitment as they tend to be cautious before buying in. A common mistake is to go out and start soliciting potential teammates by telling them that you want to do 300 + jumps, do 10 hours of tunnel time, average 30 points in time, dominate the world, and it will cost them $30k in the first year. The typical weekend skydiver have jobs, families and other outside interest, and the thought of this level of commitment may be more than most people are willing to digest. With this type of approach, you may be alienating potential teammates, as they will stare at you, give you a courtesy smile and say no thank you. It would be like going out on a first date where the other person starts to discuss marriage and children before the first kiss. I don't know about you, but I would run like wind.

When you do put out the word, it is more important that you share your excitement and passion about the possibility of doing a team. Have a general and loose (flexible) plan that you share with them. See if you are possibly playing in the same ball field in regards jump numbers, finances, and time commitments. Most people enjoy being part of the planning process as they will have a sense of ownership in the project as a whole. If you approach other potential teammates in the team building process this way, they will be more receptive to the possibility.

The single most important aspect of attracting additional potential teammates is to once again get in the air together!!!!!!!!! Jumping together (or wind tunnel) frequently results in better flight performances, and the fun factor increases exponentially. You may of had a concept of world domination in your initial plan, and your potential teammate may of had thoughts of doing only a hundred jumps or so; yet, good skydives together often change peoples desires in wanting to accomplish grander goals than they originally had for themselves. If people are learning and are having fun, it is amazing to see how much money they are willing to spend or place on credit to fulfill their own desires!

One of the key components to team building is to become a good farmer. Good farmers know when the timing is right to plant the seeds of his crop, understands just how much water and fertilizer it will take for growth, and has a good sense of the time it will take to reap a good harvest.


Starting out with a short term commitment

As you start to team build, a good approach is to state the long term goal of competing at the US Nationals; yet, ask people to commit to a shorter term goal with a reevaluation period upon completion of it. Schedule out 3-4 days of training with the goal of competing in a local event. Keep it light and fun as you will be in the Forming stage of the team. If people had fun and learned in the process, they will more than likely be all in on the concept and goal of continuing on with the project. If not, then you may of saved yourself a lot of heartache and money in the process.

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