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Proteas conclude successful team culture camp

Proteas conclude successful team culture camp
Proteas conclude successful team culture camp
©REUTERS
 

The Proteas men concluded a successful team culture camp over the weekend with renewed energy and an agreed new way forward.

The squad of 32 players met in Skukuza from 18 to 22 August, it included the 16 contracted members of the national team as well as the High-Performance squad.

The camp was aimed at bringing together players as well as the coaching and support staff of the national and High-Performance teams to align on objectives and plot the road ahead with a new cricket season not too far from beginning. Topics under discussion included the Proteas’ team identity in their capacity as representatives of our diverse nation, the team environment as well as its performance both on and off the field.

After vigorous, open and honest conversations and consultation with the guidance of the camp’s facilitators, Mahlatse Mashua and Ruan Botha, the squad arrived at a 100% synergized approach. The team’s identity or DNA is built on shared values, ground rules, philosophies and belief systems, with a heavy focus on the first two mentioned.

Team Values:

Belonging:

The team needed to ensure it firmed up and left no room for misunderstanding in the inclusivity of its environment. It is a platform where everyone can be themselves and be an equal member within the team space.

Empathy:

Every team member must be able to freely share how they feel, and individuals must be willing to ‘take a walk in another member’s shoes’ and listen with the intention to understand and not respond.

Respect:

Team members will respect themselves, they will have respect for others, for the environment and the badge. The Proteas are honoured to and responsible for representing the people of South Africa everywhere they go, both on and off the field.

Rules of engagement:

Every member of the team must be free to be themselves without fear of judgement. Everyone is of equal importance to the system.

Team manager, Khomotso Volvo Masubelele, said:

“I need to highlight that the planning for this camp began at the beginning of last season… the plan was to have this camp prior to the tour to Sri Lanka but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, everything had to be put off.

“The camp demonstrated that regular conversations and prioritizing the so-called ‘soft skills’ work is as critical to the performance of the team as are the on-field strategies, training and development aspects. The players also demonstrated a capacity to have the hard conversations and how to prioritize agreement and the need to listen to understand, rather than to respond. They have learned to move away from arguing their way through conversations, to ‘feeling’ their way into the conversations through story-telling and guided conversations and first-person narration.

“We moved from addressing issues to addressing people, from contention to conversation. It highlighted the need for education and showed that no matter what level a player enters the team environment, there is importance in touching base with everyone and having awareness of what it means for them to be Proteas. The camp also highlighted the importance of listening, understanding and acknowledging the experiences of others and through that, allowed the group to move into a space where it could concentrate of the performance model that the team feels they are a part of. It is a model that they can own and be proud to have formulated something that can outlive them and be there for future generations of Proteas.”