Updated: Oct 28, 2018
When we see our sports heroes being interviewed after big wins, they always talk about the atmosphere of the team environment. Whether we are listening to CEO's of successful companies or couples sharing what it took to make a marriage work, it all involved creating and maintaining a good atmosphere. Looking into what I believe is the meaning of atmosphere and hopefully getting you to consider the atmosphere around you is my intent in this blog.
As athletes in team sports, we choose to give our individual skills and efforts to benefit a team dynamic. It's not always easy to do because there exist some very real competing interests. Remember that the coach of a team must always put the benefits of the team first. The majority of the decisions are made with the goals of the team in mind. This often means that players are dissatisfied with playing time. This dissatisfaction can have negative impacts on the atmosphere of the team and destroy a season. Now, issues always have to be worked through and they usually are. However,the question will always arise as to what atmosphere will you as the athlete bring to the space; to the situation.
Space itself doesn't have an atmosphere. Space is both negative and positive. Space will allow the energy charge to take over. This energy charge in that space is called atmosphere. There was a common phrase that we used to say as kids. It was usually said when standing up for ourselves by accepting a challenge. It went something like this. 'we ain't got nothing between us but space and opportunity.' That meant we could fill the space with our own negative or positive energy. Every individual brings their own energy to a situation. We have our own attitudes that have their distinct tones, rhythms and vibrations. We described liking someone by saying we liked their vibe or recognizing someone's value by saying, 'I feel you.' We asked if we were understood by posing the question 'Do you feel me?'
The atmosphere you bring to your team is a personal choice. It's important that you recognize this. Have you ever been around someone who you knew was doing the wrong thing? You just knew that the vibrations they gave off created an uneasy and unsafe atmosphere. Or, maybe it's the one person on the team that is always complaining. They just drain energy and never seem to give any back. Well, that is because a person doesn't just create an atmosphere, but atmosphere can also be created in a person. Everything you say, think or do will be part of creating your own atmosphere.
Coaches look at you not only because of your physical talent level; but your talent as a person. What atmosphere will you bring? No matter what you try to hide, your atmosphere will always speak for you. Your atmosphere is personal, it tells people your condition. Think about it. As players and coaches we can't see or hear atmosphere all the time but we can feel it. Atmosphere after a tough loss and a great win differ significantly. Coaches are going to walk around after a loss like someone stole their dog. After a poor game, a player who shot poorly will act like they never missed a shot in their lives. The bench players will act like they were wronged and the coach doesn't know how great they are. Both coach and players have to eventually change their personal atmosphere in order to benefit the team. It's hard to do but has to be done in order to move on. We learn to handle moments of disappointment as well as moments of success. We change the atmosphere from what it is to what we want it to be.
Coaches want great atmosphere because there is no telling how long a bad atmosphere will stick around. Atmosphere will influence, it will touch both the mind and the body. Again, atmosphere is a personal choice. Develop your personal atmosphere and be aware of it. Don't allow others to control your inner atmosphere. It can run teams and more importantly, it can ruin you. Remember, you have the power to manage the atmosphere that lives within you. What will you do, what will you bring and when will you bring it?
Don't Look Around, Look Within