By: Patience Nene Okpe
Being a team player is the most difficult task in sport. Any old group of people can just get on the floor, court, or football pitch and just play, but a team is built from a core of friendship and trust that extends beyond the court. This core of camaraderie is what makes the difference between a group of people and a true team of champions. As Destinee Kings, a basketball player studying at Our Lady of the Lake University, said, “Being a good player means being nice to my teammate and having good chemistry’’. Knowing what makes a good team goes even beyond the limits of competition, and can be applied to a work, business, and careers. Most people talk about being a good teammate but only a few have the right criteria to count themselves as a team player.
In order to be a good team player, and therefore improve the overall state of your team, follow these guidelines.
Make time to lead. Being a team leader is never about who is queen bee, or making all the right decisions – It’s about leading by example. Most people think of a leader as the person giving orders. What they don’t see is the trust and hard-work that the leader did alongside these people. In order to be the leader, a player needs to exhibit the actions that properly represent the team, and work to further the interests of the team rather than their own. Instead of partying, they are studying the rulebook; Rather than playing videogames, they are visualizing the game tomorrow.
Communication. Being a good team player, you must first learn to have a better communication with your teammates. Destinee also said ‘’I feel like we do communicate more. We just need to learn how to communicate better with each other ‘’communication is the first key to achieving any good results in sports. Having everyone to be on the same page with each other is the fun part about sports, and also having five players on the court being on the same page.
Trust. Trust is a rather unruly instrument in sport. Many people play team game but often very few trust each other. Being on a team is all about having trust in one another, both on and off the court. In order to trust, one must believe in their teammates’ ability to make the right decisions and carry their own weight in a difficult situation. Mikayla Capone, also a student athlete of the OLLU basketball team, spoke about having trust in her teammates. She said “I feel like I can trust my teammates. That is why I got here – so I can build more’’. At the heart of every sport is a circle of trust and hard work that binds the team together. Without it, the team is nothing. With it, the team is unstoppable.
Encouragement. Many people feel it is right for them to courage their coworkers or teammates only when they are doing good, and rightfully so. Yet, when they are doing bad, they often turn their support into criticism. This criticism will affect a person’s mental health, and cause them to perform even worse. In order to perform, a player and their teammates must have confidence in their ability to perform at a high level, while also being able to take criticism in order to improve. Mikayla Capone has a different personality in sports that requires only a great team player to do such. She said ‘’ I encourage myself and my teammates even at a bad day’’
Being a team player is an important part of being on a team. A player must learn to trust and communicate better with your teammates or coworkers. Being a good teammate requires you to have confidence, trust, and compassion for your team or coworkers.