Togetherness: The Hedgehogs


Success. Coaches prepare for it, student-athletes work for it, and each program has its own definition of what it looks like. At Success for Teams LLC we have 60 years combined experience and we have observed that successful teams have certain skills in common which are independent of talent and unrelated to their sport. When practiced, these skills have a direct correlation to success.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll share stories which speak to the elements successful T.E.A.M.S. share: Togetherness, Energy and Effort, Attitude, Mental Toughness and Skills. Following each story will be a summary of key points and some suggestions on how you can best develop your team for success! In our first post, we will share why Togetherness is important for team success.

“The Hedgehogs”

It was the coldest winter ever and animals began to die because of the freezing temperatures.

The hedgehogs, realizing the dire situation, decided to group together to keep warm. In doing so they were able to cover and protect themselves; but the quills of each one wounded their closest companions.

After enduring the discomfort for a while, the hedgehogs decided to distance themselves from one another and began to die, alone and frozen. They now had to make a choice: either accept the quills of their companions or disappear from the Earth.

Wisely, the hedgehogs decided to go back to being together. They learned to live with the little wounds caused by the close relationship with their companions in order to receive the heat that came from their proximity. In this way, they were able to survive.

The best relationships are not the ones that bring together perfect people, but the ones where each individual learns to live with the imperfections of the other while appreciating their good qualities.

Key points:

· Team members need each other.

· Relationships can be painful but it benefits us to focus on what the relationship provides.

· There is strength and power in numbers.

· Sharing adversity helps teams overcome it.

Our tendency, when faced with adversity, is to protect ourselves, but successful teams come together and get outside of themselves for the betterment of the group. Successful teams understand that their relationships won’t always be perfect, but that they can always choose to appreciate what each member brings to the team.