Dec 15, 2008

Team Chemistry Wins Again

The University of Maryland Terrapins have won the Men's College Cup [NCAA Division I championship] again -- second time since 2005.

What makes this team special? Lot's of individual talent, for sure. But the key is connected talent -- team chemistry.

This championship soccer program has been doing social network analysis [SNA] since 2004. The coach's brother -- Vancho Cirovski -- learned the SNA process, as a client of mine, while he was an HR executive. Vancho first experimented with SNA when his brother's talented team was struggling in 2004. Among other things, the SNA process allowed the brothers to see who the natural/emergent leaders were on the team. SNA revealed both the on-field and off-field leaders.

This year, the SNA revealed three emergent leaders on the team -- all were named co-captains at the beginning of the season. We will share more details of the social network analysis on my site after the celebrations are over.

The team's use of social network analysis in prior seasons was written up by Business Week in this 2006 article: Game Plan: First Find the Leaders


  1. Team chemistry, or the lack thereof, is why the US basketball team is starting to have trouble when going abroad and to the Olymics. Their individual, well, Olympian athletic skills are faring worse and worse against teams that have played together and formed a 'groove'.

    Maybe the free-agency system enables them to learn how to cooperate more as they move from team to team and learn each others' strengths and weaknesses?

  2. Way cool Valdis.

    Cleveland sports teams can certainly use this...