In general you can say a role is the behavior that is expected from an individual in a certain situation or position. You can divide roles in two categories, formal and informal roles. The formal roles are defined and accepted by the team, defensive player, midfielder, scorer, “waterboy” etc. The informal roles will be developed within the team when the players get to know each other. Some of the informal roles could be the “informal leader”, “the clown”, “the social specialist” etc.
A role is built up
A role in a team consists of four parts.
– Coaches and other trainers expectations on the player
– Other team member’s expectations on the player
– Other people’s expectations on the player
– The players own expectations, needs and resources
All these four parts will form the players role, how the player have interpreted the expectations and what he/she thinks he must live up to, and accepts.
Two role aspects will affect the performance of the floorball player
Clarity – How clear is the content of the role to the player? What are the responsibilities and authorities in this role.
Acceptance – Is the player willing to accept the role fully? Will this role give enough satisfaction to the player, so he/she will continue to be motivated? This can be about being able to use special skills and capacity to fully, but it can also be about how important the role is for the teams success or how much attention or feedback you will get. These two aspects clarity and acceptance, will form the player’s role performance.
If you ad one more dimension to it you could talk about individual roles in the collective team. Individual roles need clarity and acceptance among each player in order to have a good team performance.
Role conflicts can occur when the expectations are not clear enough or a player don’t accept a role. Then you need to know that 90% of the conflicts within groups and teams are because of misunderstandings. Most of the misunderstandings occur when you don’t communicate clear enough or secure that both parts have the same picture. Check with questions that the individual players and the whole team has the same picture about different roles.
There are no dead end roles, positions or jobs, just dead end thinking. This message is an important one to get through to your players.
“If you have at home one Bentley and one Aston Martin, if you go all day everyday in the Bentley and leave the Aston Martin in the garage you are a bit stupid.” – /José Mourinho, defending his squad rotation policy
The choice is yours
You choose the way you want to see things, and also how you react on them! Each player choses their own thinking, reactions, how they see their roles and what decisions they will take, how they accept they role.
Visualize this thinking for you players. Use the basketball and sour lemon example, when you are formulating your message correctly and choose your words wisely.
Be the best in what you do, everyday in your role (a striker or a waterboy, doesn’t matter), nothing less than my very best in my role today, tomorrow my role can be different!
“You have to make each player feel equally useful, but not indispensable” /Marcello Lippi
“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep the streets as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well” /Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.