Isn’t is obvious? Don’t we all love to eat cookies?
It is much more than that. At CSI Calgary, we are trying to build a sense of community. We are also trying to get to know our athletes better. It’s not easy to do that if they always feel we are “grilling” them for info or giving them advice. We have been hosting Cookie Day in December for over five years now. It started as a silly idea to let our inner kid out and decorate cookies at the holidays. It has become a tradition for us that athletes look forward to and has reached the point where some even suggest the date we should hold it to make sure they are in town for it! Aside from athletes getting another opportunity to hang out with others from different sports, it creates an opportunity where everyone is just doing something fun together and good conversations come up as a result. I learn a lot about athletes when I just get to informally hang out with them rather than always being in “lecture” mode. I find out who is working, who is artistic, detail oriented, has a sense of humour, – all in the manner they decorate their cookie. I find out who is competitive (as of course it’s a contest) and who simply wants to eat candy. I get to make a connection to athletes in this informal time and it is incredible how much that helps me do my job on a different day. We have also experimented with grill cheese lunch and Stampede BBQ and those too have an impact. We believe that these initiatives are important to build rapport and trust and that they go along way to helping us create a community here.
Do you have other ideas to suggest? Let us know!