Being a Team Player

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Modern day culture is quick to reward great individual performance, encouraging people to develop an inward-focused mindset, which has the potential for creating negative repercussions for those competing in team sports.

Of course, it’s of the utmost importance for players to focus intensely on their own game in order to give their best performance, but their underlying motivation must be to help the team first and foremost. 

Should it be the case that they value their own individual performance ahead of the success of the team, then this type of mentality is harmful to both parties in the long-term. 

Three key steps

Ultimately, becoming an excellent team member will help you to become a better player, and you can achieve this by taking three key steps:-​​

Being a Team Player | Sports article by Nathan Wood Performance Coaching

Step 1: Know your team-mates

Through getting to understand your teammates more closely, it’s likely that you’ll become more committed to them, consequently developing a shared respect for one another. 

In high performing teams, it’s not necessary for everyone to be the closest of friends, but it is essential for everyone to have a mutual respect for one another. Respect is the foundation for building team cohesion, which is essential for teams to attain a level of sustained success.

Step 2: Embrace your role

Role clarity and role acceptance are critical factors for teams, and individuals, to produce positive outcomes.

Your confidence will develop through having a clear understanding of your responsibilities, which in turn will increase your chances of doing well. Therefore, it’s important to ask your coach for clarification if you are unsure on anything that is related to this role.  

Once you’ve gained a full understanding, it’s equally as important for you to embrace the role. By committing to the team, you’re agreeing to give it your best effort…even if that’s not in your preferred position. 

Step 3: Own your performance

In every performance, there will be some things that are done well, and others that are done less well, and it’s essential that players take ownership of both their successes and errors. 

When players are not accountable for their mistakes, they not only disrespect the team, they also fail to capitalise on learning opportunities.

Therefore, be as honest as you can, with yourself and the team, so that you can play a significant part in building an environment of tolerance and respect which, in the end, will help everyone involved achieve success.

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