What Makes a Team?

Red Cedar Youth Stage puts the concept of TEAM above all else!   Whether we are taking a class together, or part of a cast together, or doing mentorship training for teens, we are always a TEAM.  In fact, we believe that theater is the ULTIMATE team sport, because it truly depends on each person being an INDISPENSIBLE part of the group’s success.  To help our young people understand the concept of team, we frequently ask them “WHAT MAKES A TEAM?”  Ask any of our young people that question and they will tell you THREE THINGS.

ENERGY!     The first ingredient of teamwork is ENERGY.  We define energy as “the vital physical and mental resources each person has available in the moment.”  In order for a team to connect, thrive and succeed, it is essential that each member contribute the ENERGY he or she possesses.  This also involves helping teammates understand how it feels when they are tapped into their full energy!

ENCOURAGEMENT!    One source of energy that a team can tap into together is that which comes from ENCOURAGEMENT!  ReCYS’ programming and instructors are always working to build each team member’s capacity for encouraging themselves and others.  We teach our students that encouragement can come from words, facial expressions, gestures,  and welcome touch.

But we don’t stop with telling kids HOW they should treat each other, we actively help them grown their skill in giving (and receiving) encouragement by first exemplifying it for them and then by making intentional time and space for them to encourage each other.

Our experience is that by working to fill the team’s hearts and mouths with positive things, we need to spend far less time dealing with negative words and actions.

FOCUS!    The third ingredient to quality teamwork is FOCUS!  We define FOCUS as “putting all of your energy into the the thing that you are SUPPOSED to be doing!”  This simple definition helps kids, young and old, quickly identify whether or not they are focused.  “What are you using your energy for right now?”   “What SHOULD your energy be used for right now?”  Sometimes the answer is “listening”, sometimes it’s “singing”.  Whatever it is, when the members of a team can easily determine where there energy is being spent and where it should be spent, they can quickly right the ship when it’s headed in the wrong direction.   It isn’t long before they can easily see what they can accomplish when they are all focusing their energy in the right direction.