USA 7's Rugby

Athlete Career TransitionEngland Wheelchair Rugby League

Team work is the foundation of success. This is as true for athletes and sports teams as it is for business professionals. Developing self-awareness and an understanding of yourself is the gateway to building effective working relationships with your team.

When team members work well together, there is little they cannot accomplish. Looking at the bigger picture when it comes to your teams, such as their behavioural and emotional preferences and the impact they have on each other, can greatly increase your chances of developing a high performing team.

Patrick Wright from the Rugby Business Network (RBN) uses Thomas assessments to do just that. Thomas tools allow them to gain a deeper understanding of an individual’s preferences, something the RBN have used to develop athlete performance, enhance transition programmes and ultimately deliver results.

Developing self-awareness in the USA 7's Rugby team

Mike Friday, Head Coach of the USA 7’s Rugby team, has been working with Patrick at the RBN to embed Thomas assessments into the team’s training programme in the lead up to the Rio Olympic Games, in order to improve consistency in performance through greater self-awareness amongst team members.

As a high performance sporting team where effective communication is crucial to successful performance, the team needed to develop their understanding of each other. As a result, they implemented Thomas’ Personal Profile Analysis (PPA) to identify their strengths, limitations, motivators and communication preferences; helping team members and coaches to tailor communications to individuals, so as not to misinterpret them and stifle learning.

We saw Thomas assessments as an important part of us helping our young team to become more collegiate as a group.

Mike Friday, USA 7's Rugby Head Coach

The PPA compatibility report was also used between players, coaching staff and the management team. The reports uncovered a number of potential challenges to effective team relationships, which allowed them to put timely strategies and development plans in place to help individuals to modify their behaviour to the preferences of others.

The process educated all of us in becoming more self-aware of ourselves and others. It provided us all with an insight on the variety of approaches we could all adopt to drive effective communication with each other, which will ultimately make us a more effective and seamless high performing team - on and off the pitch.

Mike Friday, USA 7's Rugby Head Coach

The players also noticed an immediate impact after implementing Thomas assessments. Madison Hughes, player and captain of the USA 7’s Rugby team comments, "The Thomas PPA helped the team take a different perspective on communication with each other. In particular, it helped us realise the different ways people see things and therefore that with each individual, different approaches are necessary.

The assessment helped me discover how I could work better with the team and coaching staff.

Madison Hughes, USA 7's Rugby Captain

Mike concludes, “it has been very insightful working with Thomas International. It has encouraged open communication within the squad and has created a foundation for us to create winning performances on the pitch and to be a more united squad off the pitch. I would highly recommend teams looking to find the edge in high performance to explore this approach.


Photos provided by Mike Lee/KLCFotos

Emily Atkinson

Emily Atkinson

Emily joined the marketing team in 2013 after a period working as an event manager in the wedding industry. She enjoys the variety that comes with working at Thomas, particularly specialising in international marketing. Emily studied German for many years and has recently started learning Spanish.