Team Captain Guidebook - Chapter 1: Captain 101

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We’ve just started the May Challenge, and as Team Captain, you’ve signed up for the awesome task (and epic responsibility) of leading your team to success.

Your first mission — to understand what your Players need from you, decide how you’ll provide it, and send your first message to the Team.

In brief, your team will need three things:

  • Inspiration — show them what’s possible.

  • Knowledge — show them how to do it.

  • Support — encourage them every step of the way.

If you can provide all three of these elements on a daily (or near-daily basis), you’ll set them up for the best chance of success over the next 6 weeks.

Here’s how to get started.

Step 1: Decide How You’ll Communicate

Your best option is always in-person discussion. If you can actually bring your Team together for meetings, team dinners, workouts, and mobility sessions, it will go a long way toward building the team cohesion and sense of unity that it takes to make it through all 42 days of the Challenge. Remember that even though getting everyone together may be difficult, bringing even a fraction of your Team together will be effort well spent.

Alternatively, make liberal use of the phone, email, and your Communication Feed in the game itself. Checking in with your Players individually will always yield a greater result than broadcasting a group message, but you’ll want to strive for a balance of both.

For messages to your whole team, use the in-game Captain’s Post. This is a feature built into the Communication Feed, where you’ll simply check the “Captain’s Post” box when inputting a comment. This will pin your post to the top of the Communication Feed for all your Players, and they’ll receive a notification that a new Captain’s Post is available.

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Step 2: Set the Tone

Your first message to your Team should be one of openness, accessibility, and unity. Let them know that you’re here as a resource to help answer questions, provide guidance, and get them through all 6 weeks of the Challenge. If you’re comfortable doing so, provide them with your direct contact information for questions that they don’t want to present to the entire Team.

Step 3: Be Vulnerable

Your Players need to know they can come to you with anything related to their adoption of the 7 Daily Habits — whether it’s uplifting and celebratory or personal, embarrassing, and hard to talk about. 

You can set the stage for this free expression by being vulnerable yourself.Throughout your meetings, emails, phone calls, and Captain’s Posts, don’t be afraid to tell your Players of your own experiences with lifestyle change — when you slip up and eat a pizza by yourself, when you skip exercise to binge on Netflix, when you only get a few hours of sleep, when you don’t dock yourself Nutrition points for that salad (because you didn’t see the crouton until you’d already eaten it). 

The more you’re open, honest, and self-forgiving, the more your Players will exhibit the same behavior, dramatically increasing their odds of sticking with the Challenge (while increasing their willingness to seek help when things get tough).

Step 4: Send Your First Communication

Using the guidance of Inspiration, Knowledge, and Support, send your first communication to your teammates using your preferred channel. Be sure to set a tone of openness and vulnerability, and invite your Players to come to you any time they need help.

Here’s a Sample Post to help you on your way. You can use any part of this, none of it, or the whole thing. Just be sure to edit to fit your own style and tone.

 

Sample Post

Hey Team,

Welcome to the May Whole Life Challenge. It’s going to be an awesome 6 weeks.

I’m psyched to be back in the mode of eating well, exercising, hydrating, and feeling (way) better, and I’m glad you’re here with me.

Let’s start our time together with a very simple idea:

If you need any help at all, with ANYTHING about the Challenge, just let me know. You ask questions right here in the Communication Feed (which will enable your teammates to help as well), or you can call me directly.

I’m talking ANYTHING. Food questions, exercise questions, sleep tips, or just some support if you’re feeling down or like this is too difficult.  We’re going to make it through together, and my goal is to make sure you don’t just get points, but that you’re truly able to change your life for the better.

Also, I think we’ll all do better if we are as open and honest as possible with each other, so here goes…

I’m here because the last few months have been rough, emotionally and physically.  A bit too much sugar, a bit too little sleep, and more than a few personal dramas have left me more unhealthy than I like to be — with both my mindset and my body.

So I’m here to make it better.  

(And I know this does the trick.)

Because after 5 Challenges, I’ve realized that I cannot necessarily change the world to make it entirely stress-free and vacation-like — but I will always have a better life when my physical habits support a daily existence that’s calm, active, and connected.

So my goal for May is three-fold: I’m hoping to keep the stress to a minimum, improve my mindset, and do it while getting my body into the best shape of my life.  

If you’re willing, I’d love to hear about your goals. Tell us why you’re here, what you want to achieve, and how you think the Team can help. You can post right here in the Communication Feed or let me know in private.

This goal-setting will be our first step to success, and we’ll do it together.

Here’s to us, and the journey.  It’s going to be an awesome 6 weeks.

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