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Karen Bardsley: Build team spirit

“I play with a group of really talented players, but when things go against us we just implode. How do we get team spirit and togetherness?”
Tony James, via email

Karen Bardsley:
“The more positive you can be, the better – it helps people feel confident about themselves. 

If someone makes a great tackle or wins an awesome ball in the air, congratulate them. It’s so contagious. If your whole team is doing that, it’s almost like a 12th man. Your opponents see you’rea good team working together.

Every once in a while you’ll have to say something critical, but if you have a rapport with the person, they know it’s not personal. It’s crucial everyone knows they’re valued, with an important role on or off the pitch.

With quieter members of the squad, give them the opportunity to join in with things if they want to. If they don’t want to, that’s fine.

At Manchester City we go out a lot for coffee or dinner. For birthdays, we’ll try to get the whole team out. 

We’ll also have a sing-song on the coach after a game and we have team-building events, too – go-karting and Jump Nation, a place with loads of trampolines. It’s important that people are enjoying themselves.”

Karen Bardsley wears the Manchester City training apparel, available now at

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