Everybody wants to be a great teammate. Everyone wants great teammates, too.
But what does that mean?
A strong team player is able to build one-on-one relationships with everyone around him or her, according to Joe Bogdan, a veteran Ohio math teacher and coach, on his A Shooter’s Roll blog.
Here are four steps toward strengthening skills that result in bringing entire teams together.
- Build trust. New teammates don’t know what to expect from each other. Over time, though, they build positive relationships through shared experiences on and off the field. Eventually, teammates come to the point where they know they can count on each other without asking. You’ve got each other’s backs.
- Set an example of excellence. There will always be a hierarchy of talent on teams. That doesn’t mean the last guy on the bench doesn’t have something to contribute – whether during practice or at unexpected turns of an important game. Challenge teammates to make yourself, them and the entire group better. Build good habits that others can follow, whether you are the star everyone looks to or a backup whose effort inspires the starters.
- Create positive energy. Success breeds success. Be happy for teammates who do well, even if you have a bad day. Seeing someone shine who plays the same position you do can sting an ego. That’s OK. It’s part of being human. But your enthusiasm and encouragement will lift others. And when they see you stay positive even during your worst performances, it raises everyone’s game. The past is in the past. There’s no changing it. It’s the next play that’s most important.
- Hold teammates accountable. Players must understand that everything they do reflects on the team as a whole. Nobody can work hard every minute, and everyone makes bad decisions, but when you are surrounded by teammates who care about you and are not afraid to hold you accountable, you are much more likely to put yourself in the best situation.