Our MAN v FAT Leyton and Enfield coach Bob Stamegna loves celebrating his community. He tells us all about it!
Why is celebrating success so important at your club?Football is perhaps one of the most tribal of all sports. The teams in the clubs I coach have the same competitive tribal unity that you will find in all football leagues. However beyond that there exists a common goal that unites each player no matter what team they play for.
For each player’s weight loss milestone reached is a celebrated and acknowledged by every other player. Such successes are an inspiration for everyone else. They will all have their own interpretation, their own motivation as a takeaway, but every success is another unifying bond.
What are the key steps involved when sharing players successes?
- Making sure they are aware of their goals, whether it is a hattrick, a % target, or breaking a weight barrier link getting below 100kg.
- When they hit that goal on the scales making a quite but celebratory announcement to everyone in the weigh in room
- Acknowledging percentage weight loss on social media with a photo of the player and their certificate
- I also include a personal view on who they are as a person and their impact to their team and the league. Hattricks are acknowledged in the weekly roundups along with the percentage successes as well as the players who made it onto the team of the week because of weight loss.
How did you get the community at your club to buy into celebrating their successes?
Honestly it was an organic process. The players themselves were readily open to congratulating someone losing a good amount of weight, hitting a target or achieving a percentage milestone. While it started with their own teammates it genuinely evolved to the friendly and sometimes envious banter between the opposing team on the night.
Even though they realise that success may mean another off the pitch goal – they know it is the reason why we are all at MAN v FAT.
In what ways does this celebration aid the community at your club?
I liken it to belonging to an exclusive club. Each player knows the challenges of getting to and maintaining a healthy weight. Celebrating the wins – no matter how small or large facilitates communication – not just the congrats and pats on the back but the sharing of how the player got there, the exercise they do the rest of the week, the food choices they are making.
Each team’s WhatsApp group are always sharing ideas about weight loss and some of the more amusing daily challenges they go through. This really is a huge aid in building a community.
What advice would you give to anyone who wants to put celebrating success at the forefront of their club?
- The coach has to be part of the club – use we and us. The coach is part of the same journey.
- Create extra bonus goal challenges that encourage team unity and healthy competing respect.
- As a coach make yourself available during your admin time, post-match, during the week. Be supportive, empathetic and ask questions that make the players reflect and be authentic in their response.