Being a Good Teammate
What constitutes a good teammate? Certainly, the correct answer to this question involves many qualities, actions, and variables. A good teammate supports his coach, although, of course, not if the latter is tyrannical and/or immoral – however strictly one defines these terms. If people have any complaints against a coach, they should be encouraged to meet privately with this leader, while understanding that the coach’s view will or should prevail if no compromise can be reached. If dissatisfaction still then exists, the answer is maturely to consider small incremental possibilities (whatever they exactly should be), while always displaying full adult mental discipline and full physical effort during all games/practices.
Players should be certain to understand the coach’s overall philosophy and game plan, after which each player should do everything he can to fulfill his role within the dictated structure. A player’s opinion of a coach’s decisions should be of secondary importance. It is of primary importance to promote team success – not one’s own desires and statistics.
The best teammate should speak privately and maturely to other players if he has any questions or suggestions to offer. These discussions should not be revealed to any other team members, and one certainly should never talk negatively about anyone to a third party since this could be the beginning information that spreads throughout the entire team, with a negative result being the likely outcome because no one wants to be talked about “behind his back.”
If some players are underperforming and perhaps losing confidence, a good teammate should be verbally supportive and illustrate the player’s past and continuing value to the team in all possible manners. As a way to improve, relaxation should be stressed as well as continuing the expenditure of maximum effort. One can only try one’s best and accept what occurs.
Physically, to be the supreme teammate, one should always be the team’s best hustler. By setting this example, a good teammate will illustrate that he will never accept less than 100% sacrifice from himself, and this should be a goal for all to fulfill for themselves. A story is told of Alexander the Great and his men being on a long march with a very scarce water supply. When he was offered the little amount of remaining liquid as his troops were parched, he poured the water into the ground, thus identifying his devotion to the team, and the soldiers learned they could follow this example. The best teammate should always play and act with class.