The Responsibility of Being a Good TeammateWe hear the famous sports quote “There is no ‘I’ in Team” all the time. Kids of all ages know that quote but do they really know what it means? To me, being part of a team is something very special. I remember all the teams I was on and have positive memories of each one.
This article is going to focus on the importance of being a teammate and what that really means. Young players should keep in mind that this time of their life is really such a short window and will end up shaping how they will be remembered for a lifetime. In the grand scheme of things, if you aren’t a good teammate you won’t be able to truly look back at your playing days with fond memories.
Teammates are responsible for one another and look out for each other. The best teammates are ones that can lead without coming across as disrespectful. Here’s an example: A few years ago at the University of Illinois, quarterback Juice Williams and Arrelious Benn told the coach about a few players who were drinking when they shouldn’t have been. Is that a good teammate? To me, it’s a disgrace.
One might initially think that this was the noble thing to do but I don’t see it that way. A good teammate takes the player aside and lets him make the correct choice himself. You explain to that player who he represents and how we all have to work together. To tell the coach simply cost the players a lot of respect and trust. The opportunity was there but was mishandled.
Teammates sacrifice. The best teams know that they may have to give up individual stats for the good of the team. The NFL does the same in that the best teams realize they need to do things a certain way to get certain results. The Patriots are a prime example of doing things the right way as teammates.
Teammates pull for each other. The best teammates pull for one another. This includes situations where you are fighting for playing time. If the player ahead of you is doing well then a good teammate cheers the player on and hopes the same would happen when he gets his chance to perform. Every player who has this attitude will be a benefit to any team they are on. That will translate to everything off the field as well because these traits do carry over.
The lessons that I learned by getting the best from people and bringing people together were all practiced on the football fields. The traits that make us good teammates make us good bosses or good employees. Practice being a good teammate in everything, whether it is a class project, any group activity or a football season.