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The Magazine

The Promise of Thinking Culturally

The 2018 World Cup displayed football and team cultures from around the world. In this article, Dr. John Alder of the English Institute of Sport follows up his article from Issue 17 of PDP Magazine with an insightful examination of the importance of 'thinking culturally'.


Note: John contributed to this article in his personal capacity. The views expressed are his own and do not necessarily represent the views of either the English Institute of Sport or UK Sport.

As a custodian of a team’s culture, the coach’s beliefs, actions and behaviours undoubtedly influence it, to varying degrees. However, as we uncovered in Part 1 (The Shadow of Team Values), culture is not something you ‘fix’ - or are able to ‘fix’, for that matter.  In this article, we’ll explore how we can shift coaching practice from looking for culture and ‘working with values’ to looking at culture and the idea of ‘thinking culturally’.

The shared beliefs that form the bedrock of a culture should be deeply meaningful to those in the group. They should not become...

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