Focus on the Whole Team: Change Behaviors, Change Outcomes

September 19th, 2017 | by Walt Whitfield
Focus on the Whole Team: Change Behaviors, Change Outcomes


In college athletics, success comes from formulating a plan and executing that plan. Every plan has an objective and a process to meet that objective. Every process is powered by positive behaviors done over and over. When trying to succeed in health, it is important that you build behaviors that keep you moving in a positive direction. Here are a few behavior focal areas to build on.

Values and Goals

Very often you hear athletic directors and head coaches speak about building a winning culture. Shared values and goals build cultures. When building a successful health plan, you need to build your plan around your value system. If you value right choices and integrity, build a plan that revolves around long-term changes and not fad diets that lack true behavior change. If you value unity, get involved in group training classes that test teamwork. Attaining your goals within your value system will give you a real feeling of achievement.


Every team has a walk-on that became a star on the field. Every department has the intern who climbed the office ladder to be an administrator. The key behavior both hold is assertiveness. Assertive people see something they want, plan their attack, and expect to meet their goal. There are many reasons why a person is not assertive. Low self-esteem. Scared of rejection. Guilt. When changing your behavior to be more assertive, it is important to understand that your well-being is paramount. If you mean well and treat others with respect, do not fret over how they feel about you changing your behavior and reacting to them in a more assertive way.

Setting Healthy Boundaries

Recently, damaging hurricanes have hammered the gulf south. Many college games were canceled, some due to media criticism, while others caught little attention. Regardless, the safety and well-being of the student-athletes and fan base are critical. Athletic departments must set healthy boundaries for both. You need to set boundaries as well. Your time and effort are important. Trainers or partners being late is unacceptable. It is time you hold yourself and those helping you to the standard agreed upon. You set a time, be there. You expect effort, receive it.


In my earlier article “Beat the Summer Heat,” I spoke about my alma mater sending out surveys. When I receive a survey, it tells me my university is listening to my concerns. Listening is more important than talking. You may think what does listening have to do with my health. Well, if you have a trainer telling you something. your interaction will tell them a lot. Do you care? Are you ready to work out? Are there other issues on your mind? This is all important information. Be attentive when others are speaking. They will respect you for hearing them out.

If you want to alter your health, you need to change your behaviors. Plan your goals within your value system. Be assertive when pursuing your goals. Hold yourself and those helping you to a high standard. Listen when communicating. Change your behaviors, change your outcomes.

Walt Whitfield About Walt Whitfield
Walter Whitfield is an employee wellness consultant and founder of Lavoro Workplace Wellness where he helps businesses improve their workplace through employee wellness strategies. He has worked with corporations like Chevron, BP, and Seadrill. Walter is a former college athlete for Louisiana’s Ragin Cajuns where he competed in cross country and track, winning Sunbelt conference titles in the 3k Steeplechase and 5k. He is married, has 3 kids, and loves all things New Orleans Saints and Louisiana’s Ragin Cajuns.

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