Accountability is crucial for team success. It is the process of verifying that expectations are being met and turned into results on the playing surface. Without accountability, it is difficult to determine whether the team is meeting its goals and making progress.
However, accountability is not a one-time event. It is a repeated pattern that must be consistently practiced to be effective. Spontaneous efforts to hold players accountable may be well-intentioned, but they are unlikely to lead to sustained success. Instead, it is important to have a plan in place for how accountability will be implemented and maintained.
Effective accountability starts with setting clear expectations for the team. This includes outlining the goals for the season, as well as the specific roles and responsibilities for each player. If players do not know what is expected of them, it is impossible for them to be held accountable for meeting those expectations. Therefore, it is essential to communicate expectations clearly and concisely, and to ensure that everyone understands what is expected of them.
In addition to setting clear expectations, it is important to hold players accountable for meeting those expectations. This requires regularly checking in with players to ensure that they are meeting their goals and making progress. This can be done through regular performance reviews, progress reports, or other methods of tracking progress.
Effective accountability also requires transparency and honesty. If there are issues or obstacles that are preventing a player from meeting their goals, it is important to bring those to light so that they can be addressed. Similarly, if a player is consistently meeting or exceeding their goals, it is important to recognize and reward their efforts.
It is also important to recognize that accountability is a two-way street. In addition to holding players accountable, coaches and team leaders must hold themselves accountable as well. This requires being honest with yourself about your progress and taking ownership of your actions and results.
Accountability aids a culture of high performance and continuous improvement. By consistently setting clear expectations and holding everyone accountable for meeting those expectations, you can create a culture in which players are motivated to achieve their best work. This leads to better results and a more successful team.
Neil Wattier is a Mental Performance Coach leading science-backed performance coaching for athletes at all levels of sport performance. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona and an active member of the United States Air Force Reserve. He has helped individuals and teams realize their full potential while serving as a coach, advisor, and mentor to business executives, senior military leaders, young professionals, youth and adult athletes, fitness professionals, and faith communities.