Developing a Team Covenant

By Larry Ronglien, UW Stout Men's Basketball
I'm a big believer in developing "synergy" within your teams in order to over achieve in season. One of the things we are doing this year at UW Stout is working on developing a "team covenant"--a set of ideas that each member of our squad agrees to do that will help us establish norms and positive attitudes.

Below is a list of "I CAN COMMIT" statements that we will be reviewing with our team. Without names, we will ask them to check the ones that they can commit to doing. As a staff we will review the list and the positive responses for each item. THE STAFF will then select the top 4-6 statements as a part of our team agreement and covenant. Once these are selected, I will go before the team, read the statement and ask for a show of hands of all team members that agree to this statement. This will be a public affirmation that they will support the idea.

In season if they fall off the track of the team covenant we can have short, individual meetings to talk with them about their agreement to maintain the standards of the program.

I think this is a good way to give players a voice in what the "TEAM" stands for.

I hope this is interesting to many of you.

"I CAN COMMIT" statements

Please place a check mark by any of the following statements that you feel you can commit to this season, then WHEN YOU'VE looked at them all, rank your top 5 in terms of what you think is important to having a successful season.

  • I can commit to being 10 minutes early for all team events this season including busses, meetings and practices.

  • I can commit to taking care of my attitude so my teammates and coaches won't have to.

  • I can commit to my BEST EFFORT in my classes so my eligibility will not become a problem for my team.

  • I can commit to doing my best each day in practice and at games.

  • I can commit to letting Coach Andrist handle the referees.

  • I can commit to playing through any bad calls, small injuries and things that don't go my way at the game.

  • I can commit to supporting my teammates, even when I'm on the bench.

  • I can commit to representing UW Stout in a good way when we are traveling as a team. (This includes issues of alcohol use, relations with fans of the home school, hotel personnel, and general rule following when we travel.)

  • I can commit to representing UW Stout in a good way when I am in the role of being a resident of Menomonie.

  • I can commit to helping my teammates when they get knocked down at the game or in practice.

  • I can commit to behavior that will HELP my athleticism and personal development at all times. (This includes getting enough rest, eating right, taking care of my personal health including alcohol and any other chemical use.)

  • I can commit to taking care of my behavior so my teammates and coaches don't have to.

  • When we travel, I can commit to using personal electronics in a way that does not disturb others. (Music players, laptops, cell phones)

  • I can commit to cleaning up after myself in the locker room and helping in keeping the locker room generally clean.

  • I can commit to helping in practice with putting things that we use in practice away at the end as requested by a member of the coaching staff. (This may include balls, ball rack, jump ropes, scoreboard, other items.)

  • I can commit to face to face contact with the coaching staff or my teammates if I have an issue to discuss.

  • I can commit to "eye to eye" contact in any one on one conversation that I have with a member of the program.

  • I can commit to forgetting about small conflicts that happen in practice as soon as I go to the locker room each day. (Part of this means that if you can't forget about the small conflict you must then either work the problem out with the other player that was involved, or then involve the coaching staff to assist you in working it out. Think carefully.)

  • I can commit to treating our support staff respectfully at all times. (Trainer, managers, athletic director, announcer, scorer, game staff.)

Please share your comments...


Most Likes First   Oldest First   Newest First

9/20/2013 at 11:26:57 AM

2nd year head coach, first year I learned from my experiences and our players. I will use this I CAN this year. THANKS!


Ken Sartini says:
6/19/2013 at 2:51:33 PM

I agree Joe -

We had very few rules, the more you have the more you can paint yourself into a corner.

"Don't do anything detrimental to the team."
This I like and we always said...

"Don't do anything that you wouldn't want us (coaches) to walk in on something you were doing.

The school districts have enough rules for them to follow... in our district now, there is a 24/7 policy. Anything you do ON or OFF campus you will be responsible for AT SCHOOL.

Great article Larry


Joe Haefner says:
6/19/2013 at 12:21:01 PM

Rich, you certainly have to do what works for you.

I only have one rule that I got from my former high school coach.

Don't do anything detrimental to the team.


Rick says:
6/19/2013 at 12:06:08 PM

I don''t like this long lists of rules. They don''t seem to work very well.
In my opinion rules are frozen relations.
Much more important to work on your relation with your players. And if you really need rules, let them make their own.

  1 reply  

Eileen says:
12/8/2019 at 10:41:00 AM

If you go back to the explanation and directions, this will be boiled down to 4-6 Commit statements for the team to focus on. Giving players a list to choose from and working with their choices is a good level a player choice.


Coach Naylor says:
9/4/2011 at 3:46:53 AM

I really like the "i Can Commit" i will use this during the upcoming basketball season.


Sakhile Sibiya says:
2/4/2011 at 8:05:44 AM

Excellent, I will be using this with my church leadership team. Please send more of such artlicles. God bless you.


Darren Brown says:
5/25/2010 at 4:44:31 AM

Absolutely brilliant- I'm putting this into practice immediately!


Coach Mohr says:
1/7/2010 at 8:19:50 AM

Great article, will use this with my young varsity team. Thank you


Coach Casey says:
11/13/2009 at 8:46:30 PM

I love the "I can commit".......I will implement parts of it with my new 6th grade adapt parts of it for my K thru 5th grade PE classes. Thanks!


rene ilogon says:
11/13/2009 at 5:38:39 PM

i like it and i will use this"i can commit" nxt year.thank you!


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