Sports team leadership training course

Do you coach or manage a sports team?

Would you like your team to perform better?

To be more committed, resilient and fun? 

Attend this 2-day course and learn how to lead your team to greatness using a proven  researched approach informed by the psychology of identity in teams.

The secret ingredient in great teams

England’s football team, ranked 13th, finished 4th in the World Cup, won a penalty shoot-out for the first time ever and helped the nation fall back in love with football. How did they achieve this transformation in performance and resilience? By building a team identity.

Barcelona FC, the New Zealand All Blacks, Manchester United under Sir Alex Ferguson, every successful team has a strong distinctive identity.

On this course you will learn how to become an identity leader capable of transforming a team, using a proven and practical process.

“One of the biggest things that the gaffer wanted to bring when he came in [was] to have an identity of the team and how we wanted to play.”

Jordan Henderson

“Mental strength and resilience is the key to success at the highest level of every sport. If you look at those at the very top it’s probably the distinguishing feature

Gareth Southgate

What you will learn

Leaders don’t need more information about teams, they need new insights and that is what this training provides. Insights into how powerful group psychological processes have a profound impact on what happens in teams. How performance, resilience, passion and commitment can be systematically developed to drive sustained high performance.

The university research has shown that team identity causes an increase in sports team performance by up to 53%
Dr Will Thomas

Head of research, Great Teams Academy

The role of team identity

We have been collaborating with Sussex University for five years to try and understand what happens in high performing teams that is missing in ordinary teams and the research homed in on the pivotal role of team identity.

The research revealed that teams with strong identities outperform those with weak identities, by more than 50%. Not a marginal gain, but a massive transformation in performance caused by having a stronger team identity. We went on to investigate what leaders needed to do to create and embed this kind of transformational identity and found that it all stemmed from just five core shared beliefs.

We took these insights and turned them into a step-by-step process called TRIBE, which has been used by teams in sport, the military and business.

The result is a proven process that makes the secret performance benefits available to you. This two-day course is designed specifically for leaders in sport who want to learn how to use TRIBE to make their teams great.

“We worked realy hard as a squad to create our identity. Be the difference, create history and inspire the future”

McCallin, GB Hockey player

Why Should you trust us?

We have been using TRIBE to help teams in sport, the military and business to develop performance identities for years. Here are a few examples of where the TRIBE approach has already had an impact:

  • GB Women’s hockey team in preparation for the Rio Olympic and their Gold medal winning performance. They were also voted “Best team of the Games” by the International Olympic Associations.
  • Warwickshire CCC used TRIBE in 2016 and won the Royal London One Day Cup.
  • Royal Navy rugby team in their 2016 championship winning season.
  • GB Wheelchair Rugby team is currently using TRIBE in preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
  • Senior officer training in the Army, Navy and RAF about high performing teams has been based on TRIBE for more than 10 years.
  • Leadership teams commanding forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, such as Joint Helicopter Command, the Surgeon General and even the Army Chaplain General have used TRIBE to become more cohesive and engaged in performance.
  • NATO officers Advanced & Staff Course run at the Joint Services Command and Staff College .
  • The Royal Marines to advise them on ways to modify their identity to improve focus and resilience in the battlefield.

Now this approach is available to you.

I thoroughly enjoyed the facilitators’ course at the Centre for Team Excellence. The TRIBE process is excellent and backed up by research and evidence of successful interventions. Jeremy and Will delivered a great programme which has equipped me with the tools and knowledge to help any team increase performance.
Mike Jones

Director, Leadership by Inspiration

What you will be able to do

After the training you will know how to:

  • Get buy-in from prima donnas to put the team first.
  • Develop mental toughness and resilience so you can perform under pressure better.
  • Develop focus and concentration in players.
  • Improve engagement at training and reduce laziness and taking short cuts.
  • Improve tactical execution.
  • Create a sense of cohesion and togetherness.
  • Increase pride and satisfaction in the team.
  • Reduce and even eliminate selfish and egotistical behaviour.
  • Make it more fun.
  • Win more.

Former All Blacks captain Anton Oliver

Anton has helped in the development of TRIBE, adding insights from his experieinces with the All Blacks. He was a member of the player leadership group that rebooted the All Blacks identity in 2004, transforming them into the most successful international team in history, in any sport. His practical understanding of the dressing room has helped us to develop training that really works for sports teams. Together we used TRIBE to analyse the evolution of the All Blacks identifying what had the biggest impact and why.

Many leaders have tried to copy the All Blacks and in so doing completely missed the point of what makes a great team. On this training you will learn the underlying principles behind the All Blacks culture so you can systematically create your own performance identity, rather than copying and hoping!

TRIBE is a brilliant tool for teams and leaders. If we’d had it in the All Blacks we would have saved a lot of time and got to our destination quicker.

Anton Oliver

Former Captain, The New Zealand All Blacks

TRIBE is based on good science and sound research, which shows a big impact on team performance.

Rupert Brown

Professor of social psychology, University of Sussex

10 ways this course will help you

Leaders don’t need more training and more information, you need insights into how things work and the underlying causes. This training gives you those insights and enables you to:

  1. Win more matches
  2. Develop mental toughness.
  3. Create a cohesive squad of players, coaches, managers and support staff.
  4. Think about your role as a leader in a different way.
  5. Identify and engage player leaders.
  6. Reduce conflict and politics, especially around selection.
  7. Integrate creating a winning culture into your season training plans.
  8. Save time, by having a clear direction that has been shown to work.
  9. Engage with your fans more effectively. Whether you play on a lonely field with a handful of supporters or in a stadium with thousands, every team benefits from loyal fans.
  10. Feel the passion and pride that comes from belonging to a great team.


Our offices in Steyning, West Sussex in the South Downs. Please contact us for any further details.


If you are interested, please complete the application form and tick the box to say you want to be notified of future dates.


Frequently asked questions

I’m an amateur coach, is it right for me?

Absolutely. Everything you will learn works for amateur teams and in some ways the removal of money from the equation makes life easier. Inevitably as you will have less contact time with the team it may take longer for you to see the results of your efforts.

I coach youth teams, is it right for me?

Yes, we have used our approach with youth teams and it has even been used in schools with children as young as 8 years old. Children are very interested in issues of fairness, inclusion and belonging and so they get the fundamentals of the TRIBE. Of course, for children under the ages of 13 or 14 performance may be much less important than development and you will have less time with them. If you can give them, even in a small way, the experience belonging to a team, of feeling included, respected and trusted, then we think that is something worth doing.

We are currently working on using TRIBE in schools with staff and children. The first pilot in a primary school went well and the second in a secondary school will begin this autumn.

I am a manager, but not the coach, is it right for me?

As you can see, many of the teams we have worked with are not sports teams and so TRIBE has been proven to work for managers in lots of different environments. We have adapted this course to use lots of examples from sport and to give you ideas that you can practically use with players, but the principles apply to all teams and whole organisations. For instance, at Warwickshire CCC everyone was involved, including ground staff, analysts, physios, coaches, commercial and of course players.

I don't have any experience as a leader. Will this help me?

Developing a team identity is a skill and like all skills, it can be practised and improved. Would you try and run a marathon without training? The same applies to leading a sports team, it takes determination and consistent effort to train and hone your skill set and most people can learn to do it. So to master leadership you need insights into the skills of a leader. This course will give you these insights and enable you to see the world in a different way. It will also teach you the skills to lead and develop a team in any situation, not just on the sports pitch. All you need to do then is practice, practice, practice.

How do you know what makes a successful leader in sport?

TRIBE is our proven approach to team and leadership development that has helped win gold medals, been implemented in the military and transformed business teams all over the world. It was developed at the Centre for Team Excellence and the University of Sussex (a world-leading research establishment in group processes) and will give you entirely new insights into how teams work, enabling you to facilitate meaningful and sustainable change. To find out more download our White Paper

WHO should attend?
  • Coaches
  • Team managers
  • Directors of sport
  • PE teachers
Why can’t I just copy Gareth Southgate, the All Blacks, or [insert team name]?

Where leaders in sport so often waste their time is when they copy what has worked for another team. England’s rugby team apparently now clean their own changing room, copying a ritual adopted by the All Blacks in 2005, but they have missed the point. Rituals are routines that have emotional meaning and significance, so all that copying what someone else has done will do is remind you that you are not unique and have no meaning of your own. Needless to say these attempts at mimicry only waste time and undermine your credibility.

How much does it cost?

Contact us for details by clicking a REQUEST MORE INFO button. 

What’s your refund policy?

We do not provide refunds for this course. The information is proven to work over and over again for those who implement it. If you don’t implement, we cannot be responsible for your lack of results. If you don’t plan on actually doing anything with what you learn on the course, we suggest you don’t buy it.

What’s included
  • Pre-course phone call to discuss pre-work and check this is the right course for you.
  • Workbook
  • TRIBE planning templates
  • Presentation templates to communicate with your team
  • Membership of Great Teams Academy
  • Access to the private leader resource hub
  • Post-course webinars to support your implementation of the training.