You hear coaches give it lip service all the time. "Team chemistry is an important part of team success." My question is, how much time do you spend planning events to improve team chemistry. When working for Sue Gunter at LSU, we had a weekly staff meeting in which we went over various aspects of our program from recruiting, practice, travel and administrative details. But she always took time to ask "What are we doing with are team away from basketball this week?" It was part of her philosophy -- therefore part of our system. We talked about...we mapped it out...we executed it.
That's why I wanted to post this article I read via Stephanie Zonar's twitter feed from the Green Bay Press Gazette:
Why would Packers coach Mike McCarthy give up one of his precious minicamp practice days to take his team to a clay shooting range?
The answer is simple. McCarthy believes building camaraderie on his team is just as important as going through drills on the practice field.
"I think team building is very important," said McCarthy. "Any time you have an opportunity to be together as a football team, it's about building relationships. That's something that goes unsaid, unnoticed. We've attempted to do a team building event almost every year since I've been here, and the one yesterday was very unique."
McCarthy took his team to Little Creek Lodge in Little Suamico to shoot clays on Wednesday after canceling the regularly scheduled practice.
"The time and camaraderie that was spent, it was a very positive day just to get the guys out of here and away from work," said McCarthy. "It's important. Now, does skeet shooting, the fine eye-hand motor skill of skeet shooting help us win football games? I don't think so. But the opportunity for those guys to be out there in a different environment and continue to build relationships I think is vital to team chemistry. I think it was a great day."
Packers cornerback Jarrett Bush said the outing gave him a chance to get to know players he normally doesn't hang out with.
The Packers roster was divided into groups of four or five players to form shooting teams. Bush was in a group that included offensive linemen Derek Sherrod and T.J. Lang.
"We're meeting with different groups of the team rather than like all the DBs hanging out, and that's kind of what we do now, because we're like always around, we're always meeting," said Bush. "We never really hang out with the O-line. … It's nice to see where their heads are at. It's nice to laugh, crack jokes and kind of just get to know each other."
Bush was impressed with the shooting ability of Sherrod.
"He knew what he was doing," said Bush. "He's a real quiet guy. You never get the chance to talk with him in the locker room so seeing him outside the football (facility), you see what the people are like. That's very important."