Team Spirit: Bayern – Champions League win

I love sport in all its amazing varieties so I really will read anything that offers an insight. There is nothing new in looking at sport as a metaphor for learning opportunities.

That said I found these snippets from a longer article by Raphael Honigstein in the Athletic on the 24th August 2020, as an example of the need to focus on team spirit to get an organization on track to do what it does best.

Even if you have no interest in sport you can be impressed by their organizational psychology and how some very simple steps led to Bayern Munich achieving their goal of winning the champions league last month.

In my opinion it shows why team spirit can be developed by understanding what makes your team tick and creating the appropriate environment to help them perform at their best.

(Text by Raphael Honigstein)

  1. As the former assistant of Joachim Low, (German national team coach) Flick (the Bayern coach) knew all too well that the difference between success and failure at this level could come down to good-old-fashioned team-spirit, the basic fuel without which a finely tuned pressing and running machine such as Bayern can’t hope to run smoothly.
  2. At the European Championships in 2012, the German national team were plagued by Bayern-Dortmund infighting and unhappy squad players angling for starting places. After a hugely troubling semi-final exit at the hands of Italy, Low and his staff set upon a giant team-building exercise that culminated in an intentionally “diverse” bungalow-sharing arrangement at the fabled Campo Bahia base camp in Brazil. “I don’t think we would have won the World Cup without it,” Per Mertesacker said later, the golden trophy in tow.
  3. After the Barcelona win (8-2) and again on Sunday (The final: a 1-0 win over Paris St Germain), Flick tellingly kept referring back to Bayern’s winter training camp in Doha in January as the spiritual origin of their nearly flawless calendar year (one draw, 25 wins). “Our hard work there and the boys’ willingness to pull in the same direction made us think we could achieve something big this year,” he said.
  4. …unstoppable winning streak all helped in the creation of a strong team spirit. But that’s not the whole story, as far as motivation goes. “Bayern also benefited from interesting dressing-room dynamics,” a source close to the players suggests. “You had the remnants of the 2013 team and the guys born in the mid-90s —who hadn’t won a big international title yet.
  5. “The first group were desperate to do it once more, having spent seven long years chasing the trophy in vain, while the second one understood they needed to do it in the Champions League to be considered real greats. As soon as their performances in the competition improved in late autumn to the point that they felt they were among the contenders, the two groups really bonded over this common goal and swept everyone else along.”

Getting teams to bond and focus on their common goals is what we at Team Dynamics have been doing for the last 28 years; be it via face to face, team training activities or virtual team building activities.

Congratulations to Bayern and their teamwork. As with all organizations next years competition will be another challenge. We would be delighted help you engage your team in the challenges ahead.

mark@teamdynamics.pt / +351 934 738 083

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