We live in a world where there is ieverything – ipads, iphones, ipods, iplayer and even the Scottish version, the ayepad. I think the original version meant interactive but increasingly it has become individual. It is something you use on your own. This is a reflection of our current society with the irony of becoming more connected but feeling more isolated through these tools. As Maggie’s children we have turned into a consumerist society where we look after No.1. The media and big business reinforces this position through smart advertising. Fear controls individuals as they are scared into becoming passive consumerists tied down by credit card debt and mortgage payments.

So what has this all got to do with grassroots football? Well it starts with my most detested phrase ever. “There is no ‘i’ in team” Well here is some news for you – there is! We have a whole squad of ‘i’s’ Our team and squad is made up of a bunch of individual’s. Our club is made up of individual teams. Putting all these i’s together creates the culture of the team/club. As we all know there is a vast number of different individuals of varying skill level, different personalities, backgrounds and experiences. The bottom line is they all bring something and we have to acknowledge that. Get the large majority of individuals with the correct behaviours and we can create a strong, positive culture which drives the team or club on. Get the wrong i’s on board and we create an aversive culture where people don’t enjoy it and it travels in a downward spiral.

Our club will reflect the community it operates in. If we have a highly individualised community where people only look out for themselves then this is likely what our club will look and feel like. On the other hand if our community is sharing, giving, leading and most importantly caring then we have a good chance we will reflect this. I am an optimist so I believe our community is the latter so we have a chance. So let me have a go what my perfect iTeam would look like which reflects the community and drives us all forward on the correct path.

My iTeam would consist of the following:

ilearners – Players who come along and take something from every session and then go away and practice to become better. They question, not to challenge but to learn how to get better.

iworkers – Players work hard hard and give their all no matter the level or ability. A strong work ethic is a core competence

igivers – Players who are not interested in just themselves but aim to give more to the team. Players who don’t ask what I can get from the team but what I can give to it.

isupporters – Players who encourage others when the chips are down. The are positive and defend their team-mates at all times.

ileaders – Not just the captain but leaders throughout the team that encompass all of the above and strive to make the team better even if it was at their own expense.

So in conclusion, maybe if we get this going and get iTeam’s across the club then we start influencing the community to be better and more inclusive. We must not be isolated and individualistic if we are to grow, whether that is my team,club or community. Let’s create our own iTeams.


Just an update on my Habits blog. Despite a hiccup with a virus, I am still on track with meeting my first month’s goal.


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