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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

THE IMPORTANCE OF MEANINGFUL RITUALS

The following comes from an article by Kate Fagan of ESPN.com titled "Learning Life as a Lady Vol."  It talks about a ritual done before and after each practice.  Rituals are very important to team building.  What I found even more important was that the ritual came about because of information that Coach Pat Summitt had gotten from a sports psychologist.  The great ones have a reason for everything.  Here is how it was written in the article:

On this particular day, Carter jogs into the circle before practice and lines up her feet, first with the player on her right, then with the one on her left. Once she's set, a hand touches her shoulder. Carter turns, then steps back to allow Summitt, who has just finished her ice cream cone, into the circle. The two touch feet as Carter wraps her arm around Summitt and whispers something into the coach's ear.

This is one tradition Warlick would never abandon. It started one season during the late 1990s, when Summitt brought in a sports psychologist to help the team, a woman who suggested that this small gesture -- the team standing in a circle -- serves as a tangible representation of connectedness. Ever since, Summitt's squads have stood this way, foot pinned to foot, at the beginning and end of every practice and during the national anthem before every game.

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