Healthcare Learning From Your Favorite Sports Team

When people go to hospitals for medical consultations and treatments, they entrust their care to their healthcare team. Even if active client participation and informed decision-making are encouraged, in the end,  they put their lives in the able hands of their health providers.

This  reflects the heavy reliance of patients on healthcare teams, especially when seeking acute care and creates the need for constant peak performance of those teams. With years of effort and elaborate attempts to attain an ideal teamwork, we find that the best approach is to learn from how our favorite sports teams attain peak performance

Why do we clamor to watch our favorite baseball squad? Why do their stories affect us and inspire us? What makes them winners? What strategies do they employ that result in optimum performance and what is different about healthcare teams that makes the same strategies so difficult to apply?

What  Winning Sports Teams Have That the  HealthcareSector Should Adopt

Winning teams, in our favorite sports, have one thing in common. They seem to function seamlessly together, as if their tasks are coming from a central command almost telepathically. When in the field or on court, one look or move from a player causes others to nod in agreement and react accordingly. We give big hoorays for those moments because we  feel that the players are truly performing at their peak.

Having extensive knowledge and vast experience both in the fields of sports and healthcare, we at ManageUP  have compiled a list of factors adapted from sports team management that will foster a winning healthcare team.

A ‘Team Champ' 

Every winning sports team has one or two players who ‘carry’ the game to the finals. Their determination and passion are so contagious they drive team spirit. They seem to be at their best during crucial moments when the game is on the line. Their decision-making skills are stellar and they inspire every player to perform at their best  to the point of discovering new strengths and overcoming weaknesses. 

Respect abounds

Winning sports teams have exemplary coaches and champs, however every team member and coach is important. In fact, even when the champ is the celebrated , he or she gives due respect to the coach and the other players because they realize it could not have been done alone. Everyone is also clear that bullying is detrimental and has no place in the team.

Room for Improvement

Winning teams recognize that challenges are ever present and obstacles  can quickly evolve. Working towards improvement is an ongoing process for them. They constantly train to learn better ways to reach their goals and review what was good and bad about past performances.

Priorities are Clearly Set

Everyone is in agreement which task should be accomplished first and which ones are to be done on top of the others. Keeping to the priorities and the game plan requires a lot of discipline. Winning sports teams are very good at this and adhere to this strictly.

Mutual Interdependence

The best sports teams are those with players who know how to pass the ball when they see that it will score points for the team. Those players who keep the ball to themselves  or want to do it all so they are in the limelight easily disrupt group dynamics and  usually have fleeting achievements. Each player depends on the others for their specified tasks and expertise.

Roles are Clearly Defined

Every member of a high performance sports team has a clearly defined role. In a baseball team for example, each has a role to play, whether a catcher, a pitcher or fielder.  Each player knows their position and they focus on what is expected of them.

Transparency as A Way of Life

Each player has a say on how to improve his or her play. In fact it is highlyencouraged. This does not necessarily mean that there are never any arguments.  A player can assert his ideas and when they have merit teammates will listen.  Feedback is an ongoing and dynamic dance, but in the end, the team comes to a consensus that benefits their performance as a group.

Healthcare teams have their own uniqueness, strengths and weaknesses and perhaps the ground on which they function is different from those in the field of sports. However the healthcare sector has a lot to learn from sports team players who excel at their game. We at ManageUP have proven tools that can help you create and build teams that will function at peak performance. By applying the concepts ofcreating and sustaining winning sports teams, we have looked into common deficiencies in healthcare delivery and developed strategies to help you perform at your peak and provide excellent service to your clients.


 "Questioning Causality: Scientific Explorations of Cause and Consequence across Social Contexts" by Rom Harre