What makes a winning community team?

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By Paula Jensen

The Langford Area High School boys’ basketball team recently made it to the State B tournament for the fifth time in the past six years. As I travel across South Dakota for my job people ask me, “How can Langford (being such a small school) continue producing winning teams yearafter-year?” My answer is always, the same – it’s because of the coaches. Successful coaches realize that winning teams are not run by one individual who dominates and reduces the rest of the group to mere followers. Winning teams are more like open forums in which everyone participates in the decision-making process, coaches and players alike, until the decision is made. Then, once a decision is made, the team is motivated to move ahead and execute it.

This winning team scenario had me thinking about the community engagement work I do with small towns in South Dakota. What would happen if our small-town leaders and residents started working together as a winning team, like our high school athletes and their coaches?

 

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