Killer Bees is a basketball team in a small town in New York named Bridgehampton. The team has only 7 players on the floor of 41 students in the entire school (Energy Team 2004). Yet they rally around their coach to win games against taller, more talented and well recognized players from surrounding communities. John Niles is one of the coaches of the team, who explains the players as dedicated to a single purpose. Based on the descriptions of a high performance team, the Killer Bees fit the bill. They have the right combination of accountability, commitment, and athleticism with each player complementing the skill set of the others (Energy Team 2004).
Any high performance team starts out as a working team that is made up of a group of people that have to complete a job. In the case of the Killer Bees, it is the players that make up the roster. Once they have been selected to be on the squad, it is the coach’s job to assign positions and find out what each player can bring to the table. Each player is assigned a job or position such as point guard, forward, defense, or offense. The position has a number of requirements that make up to the tasks that are to be performed. The player’s job is to learn the skills necessary to do their job or maintain their position.
At this point the Killer Bees could be called a Working Group, since they have their individual assignments that do not require input from other members until they begin to play together. The team then becomes a potential team that is focused on improving their individual ‘game’ (Energy Team 2004). Strengthening their skills within their personal positions in the game.
The potential team doesn’t become a Real Team until there is a common link or goal. This happens by adding the team component of performance. When performance becomes the goal of each individual within the Work Group, then the Coach has the job of defining the goals and how the Work Group needs to come together and commit to their common objective of winning games.
As each player recognizes that they must work together to overcome the opposition, they become accountable to one another. At this point a leader may have to step up to solidify the accountability factor by taking ownership of the Team. Players begin to bond, building relationships beyond the locker room or court. They understand that it is necessary to communicate any concerns or problems and find solutions together. The players realize that they share a common objective of winning basketball games. They learn how to communicate and work together to improve their game. Realizing they have a common enemy or opponent, other teams in the league. The shared purpose raises the level of commitment beyond satisfying individual goals to team goals (Energy Team 2004). The Killer Bees are learning more about the opposition and studying what makes the team stronger and more productive. They practice plays that allow them to outlast and out maneuver opponents. The Killer Bees begin to win. As they adapt to strengthen their game and find a way to win, this gets the attention of the community.
High Performance Team
The community becomes supportive and rallies around the coach and players, this builds the resolve of the players to the point that they begin winning championships not just for themselves. They are committed to representing their community on and off the court. Becoming a high performance team means that the team is committed to each other in terms of helping each member play their best (Energy Team 2004). Through support and communication the Killer Bees are able to dismantle other teams that are ranked higher by the media. They celebrate one another’s achievements as if it were their own. The level of support is mutually beneficial to the individual and the team as a whole. Regardless of who coaches the team, the Bridgehampton basketball team has a level of play that goes beyond the game.
Energy Team. “The Team Performance Curve.” 2004. Retrieved from Module 4. Faith.
Killer Bees. Book Extract.
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