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UK Coaching Team
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Self-care and development

Five Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Interdisciplinary Team

In the sixth in a series, Strength and Conditioning Coach Jason Tee shares his thoughts on how the leader of an interdisciplinary team (IDT) can contribute to the team finding their collective ‘edge.’ Jason has worked as a leader and member of many IDTs as a physical preparation specialist, strength and conditioner and sport scientist

Interdisciplinary teams (IDTs) can add significant value to any sports organisation or team by providing all-round, holistic participant support. The challenge is that when you bring together a group of people with a range of different skills and areas of expertise and add in a teaspoon of passion and enthusiasm, the potential recipe for conflict is high!

The way that IDTs are led makes a massive difference to the effectiveness and efficiency of the collective. You should not trust in chance to ensure that your IDT will naturally find a way to work together.

As the leader of the team, you must consider what actions you can take to facilitate effective teamworking. It helps to consider the knowledge, values and behaviours necessary for effective IDT work and to explicitly state and model these at every opportunity. The five tips recommended below will help you on the right path.

1) Get the right people on the bus

As the leader of an IDT, you will have the opportunity to identify and select individuals into your team, and when necessary, remove disruptive influencers from the group that are not contributing to the vision and adding value.

IDTs are built on the principle of bringing together people with different skills and expertise, but a person’s skillset should not be the only consideration for membership.

You will also want to consider their:

  • interpersonal and intrapersonal skills
  • personality
  • disposition
  • ability to work within teams
  • general ‘fit’ with the rest of your team.

Diversity is desirable, but if you work in a robust environment, recruiting a retiring introvert may not be the best move. Similarly, where you have a well-balanced team, recruiting an A-type extrovert could result in the team being hijacked by this big personality. Sometimes you’ll inherit team members, but where you can bring someone in, bring in someone compatible with the rest of your team.

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