Being A Good Teammate by Nikoli Sharp

What makes a good teammate?

Is it a person who is kind, thoughtful, and trustworthy? Is it a person who is honest, hardworking, and inspiring? Is it a person who challenges you, motivates you, and helps you?  Who said that the words “good teammate” had to be categorized and defined in one way?  Being a good teammate does not come down to one or two things; it has a vast amount of characteristics! Just like we are all different as human beings, we are all different when it comes to how we are as a teammate. Of course we need to have common goals, diligence, respect, and motivated behavior, but if we were all the exact same type of teammate on the field, sure we would be decent, but having the diversity and differences in our personalities, strengths, and skills are what will make the team GREAT! We need all types of teammates  ranging in all types of strengths, personalities, and skills to create a challenging, motivating, and inspiring team that flows with chemistry and brings a sense of pride, confidence, dedication, and respect to the field whether it is at practice or in a game.

Unfortunately, we often get athletes who are stuck in the mindset of the following:

- “I don’t want to hurt her feelings”

- “I don’t want to make her mad”

- “I’m afraid of pitching to her”

- “I’m afraid she will yell at me”

- “I’m better than she is, so I’m not going to help her.”

- “I don’t care where they go to college, it’s about me.”

- “She lost the game for us.”

And so many other scenarios that are stemmed from fear, blame, bitterness, frustration, and negative thoughts and actions that are undoubtedly hindering the progress of your athlete and team success!

Being a good teammate is not just about being a kind person who is there for you through emotional barriers that they will all face, but a teammate who will also be there to hold each other accountable, compete with one another, volunteering to pitch live batting practice, offering to do extra skill work with, and overall, CHALLENGE one another. A good teammate helps make her teammates and team BETTER!

We have to get rid of the worries, fears, bitterness, and negativity that hold each of them back from progressing emotionally and skillfully, and replace it with positive thoughts and action, understanding and knowledge they are each capable of thinking and doing. Each and every athlete has the potential to be GREAT, but they can’t do it alone.

-Having a teammate that will tell you what you need to hear instead of what you want to hear will make you STRONGER.

-Offering to pitch to your teammates is CHALLENGING yourself and the team.

-Being a catcher that throws down for her stealing teammates is helping the TEAM get better, faster, and more knowledgeable whether it is running the bases or throwing in the catcher position.

-Asking for help from your teammate is making you BOTH BETTER.

-Volunteering to go to your teammate’s lesson to help whether it is feeding a machine, pitching, or catching is HELPING each of you.

-Offering to study with your teammate struggling in school is making you both SMARTER!
Being a good teammate is more than just offering high fives and cheering them on, it’s about being a person and friend who is willing to put in the extra mile not only for herself, but for her teammates and team. So get rid of the negativity that lingers in your mind, and start taking initiative in helping yourself, teammates, and team SUCCEED!

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

Written by Nikoli Sharp

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