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UK Coaching Team
Organising and Planning

Starter’s Guide to Setting Up an Interdisciplinary Team

Jason Tee and Chris Chapman build upon earlier concepts which introduced interdisciplinary teams and described how interdisciplinary teamwork can improve how we support and develop sports people. Effective collaboration between people with different knowledge, skills and experiences can greatly improve the support and experience that we offer the sportspeople in our care. Let’s explore how you can create or enhance the level of interdisciplinary collaborating and working within your environment

1.    Who do we have? Who do we need?

The first stage in setting up an interdisciplinary team is to consider what you require and who the team members will be. Start by considering who is currently providing support to the participants in your organisation. Very few sports teams and clubs are a single person working in isolation, and it is likely that you will already have a group of people or team around you.

The second stage is to recognise the roles individuals play and then align and galvanise their collective efforts.

Once you have established who your team is, the third stage is to understand who does what. Speak to the individuals and understand what their contributions are and could be. This will allow you to understand what skills and expertise are available across the collective group. The building of knowledge and insight bridges across the different roles and professional skill sets enables enhanced outcomes for the participants. This also enables individuals within the team to develop and grow their own understanding.

Consider who has the potential to do more, and who is stretched with too many tasks, responsibilities or limited time and needs support. Take the time to reflect where the gaps are within your interdisciplinary team.

Understanding who needs more support, and what gaps in knowledge, skills and expertise you have in the team can help guide you towards the fourth stage. Recruiting additional members to the team to achieve and bridge the skills and expertise needed is necessary to create a coherent and effective team.

Now you have the people, let’s consider the direction.

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