[PODCAST] University of Denver sport coaching professors talk about building team culture

By Keith Grabowski | Posted 8/24/2018



The Smart Coaching Series on the Coach and Coordinator Podcast is designed to help coaches improve over the course of the season in the areas outside of the X&O’s.  Coaches need to be able to take care of people and this podcast will give pause for reflection and well as generate ideas for the coach to be smart about how he improves his players and team.

Dr. Brian Gearity and Dr. Clayton Kuklick, professors of sport coaching at the University of Denver joined the show today. Dr. Gearity has been the director of the Master of Arts in Sport Coaching program at Denver since 2014. Before teaching at Denver, Dr. Gearity spent five years at the University of Southern Mississippi as an assistant professor of Sport Coaching Education.  As a coach, Dr. Gearity’s specialty is in the strength and conditioning side. Dr. Gearity worked as a strength coach at the University of Tennessee for nine years and received his PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Tennessee in 2009.

Dr. Kuklick works as a clinical assistant professor for the Sport Coaching program at Denver. The previous two years, Dr. Kuklick has worked as an assistant professor of Athletic Coaching Education at West Virginia University. He also previously received his PhD in Human Performance and Recreation: Administration and Teaching at the University of Southern Mississippi in 2014. In coaching, Dr. Kuklick has worked as an assistant coach for baseball teams at Shepherd University, Georgia College and State University, University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and Kutztown University. Dr. Kuklick has also worked as a head coach for several college baseball summer leagues.

Today’s podcast focuses on ideas to continue to build the team culture in-season.

Show Notes

3:08 Praxis - integrate critical thinking in practice

4:22    Disconnect in building culture

5:15    Example of integrating cultural beliefs into practices

6:45    When the belief is not connected to the skill

8:45    Implicit messages need to be embedded in drills and activities

9:50    Don’t spread the culture too thin

10:50  Reinforcing and coaching skill

12:02 Definition of culture

12:30 Behaviors must be in alignment with beliefs and values

13:34  Getting specific on culture on the field

16:32  Being mindful of negative effects because of different experiences

18:27  Changing culture

19:00  Teaching players how to practice and integrating believes and behaviors

20:30  Week 1 - Intensity and deliberate practice

22:56  Teaching focus

24:20  What are the things we are doing that are going to cause the outcomes?

26:16  Communicating with players & the coach-athlete relationship

28:34  Developing a plan, evaluation system, and reward system for getting aligned

32:00 Inviting other coaches, athletic director or other stakeholders to observe and give feedback on practice

34:00 A coach having courage and vulnerability as a way to improve

34:33  Evaluation of athletes -behavioral evaluation ideas

36:01  Alternative way for awarding helmet decals

37:20  Practice player of the day or week

37:40 Culture and shared responsibility

41:00  Tips to improve over the course of the season


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