Build Team is a young person’s experience with a coach who leverages every team member's talents, creating a “win” for all.

Individual talent can never make a team successful, rather it is the
ability to understand and take advantage of one another’s talents that
creates the “win.” Coaches set the tone by valuing the team, treating
each player equally, making sure all athletes know their roles and
responsibilities, and working alongside young people to create a team
identity (Cohn, P. 2019).


Build Team has been shown to be a key predictor of positive youth development and social and emotional outcomes for young people (Search Institute, 2020; Noddings, N. 1992). The ability to collaborate and work on a team is often rated as an essential skill for both employability and higher education (Zupek, R. ; Keinath, S., 2018). In addition, research shows that being part of a team makes young people feel they matter, offers them social support, presents opportunities to lead, and gives them feelings of belongingness. It also builds self-efficacy, promotes self-regulation, and develops moral character (integrity, fairness, empathy, and loyalty) (Agans, J.P. 2016).


Hello Insight has found that Build Team is a Fortifying Experience that helps promote Core SEL and Sports SEL.

Sports SEL encapsulates Goal Orientation and Self-Confidence, two SEL capacities that are specific to SBYD programs. Growth in Sports SEL is highly correlated with Core SEL development.

Goal Orientation is a young person’s capacity to envision a positive future and set a path forward to achieve their dreams. This capacity increases motivation, helps young people develop a sense of control over their futures, and promotes overall positive youth development.

Self-Confidence is a young person’s positive sense of who they are in the world and what they have to offer. It equates to an internal sense of self-worth and self-efficacy. A sense of confidence helps young people make decisions for themselves and develop resilience in the face of challenges. It is also correlated with reduced behavioral problems and increased thriving.

Young people in sports-based youth development programs have been shown to develop greater SEL than peers in non-sports-based programs. They do this by providing significantly more research-based PYD experiences than sports-based programs. Young men’s SEL growth is driven by the experiences of Expand Interests followed by Manage Goals. A young woman’s SEL growth is promoted when she develops a positive relationship with the coach who shares power with her.

Download the Reflection Guide


Effective Teamwork in the Age of Remote Work

The Teamwork Guide and Video take you through a step-by-step process of how to build a team and give awesome tips for both in-person or remote learning.

Guiding Questions:

  • How can my program use these career principles to promote teamwork both on and off of the field?
  • How can I help my young people see and value teamwork as a skill that is important for success and in life?
  • How can we use the seven signs for knowing that our TEAM is not OK? Can we engage young people in a self-assessment of our team?

Building a Positive Team Culture

Kids Sports Psychology
This brief article and podcast describes what a team culture is - how it feels to be involved with the team. Mark Lawton, a longtime teacher and coach who has led numerous teams to the championship level, shares how coaches work with young people and parents/family members to create a team culture that is serious and goal-oriented, while being upbeat and fun. This website also contains a broad array of resources, videos, blogs, and articles that will support coaches to support a positive and healthy sport psychology.

Guiding Questions:

  • How can I create a culture of fairness?
  • How can I effectively engage parents and caregivers to create positive team culture?
  • Am I clear about my goals and expectations? Am I clear in my implementation of these?
  • How do I support young people to take ownership of the team?

Tips and Tools For Being a Good Teammate

Positive Coaching Alliance
This 30-minute video provides helpful tips and strategies for supporting young people to be good teammates. Through an interactive Q&A process, Ruben Nieves highlights how to shift your language and create a strong team culture.

Guiding Questions:

  • How can I use the visioning activity in the video (what do I want in a good teammate) with my group?
  • How does knowing about a young person’s emotional tank help you coach them?
  • How does my body language, as a coach, impact my team?