Coaches and parents talk about the importance of being a team player, but what really does that mean?
When my oldest daughter gave up gymnastics for softball, it was because she loved being on a team. She’s a social butterfly and loved the team interaction.
But it wasn’t long before she began to see the other side of the team coin. It was not all fun and games. Being a good team player is important for the success of the team and it became very apparent to her that being a team player was hard work.
To help your child better understand what the term “Team Player” means, here’s 10 pretty basic guidelines or rules of what that label should look like:
- They don’t take credit for the win and don’t blame teammates for the loss.
- They address conflict on the team by either talking to the coach or to the involved teammate, instead of avoiding it, gossiping about it, or complaining to Mom and Dad about it.
- They accept their role on the team and give their best in that position.
- They recognize the strengths of their team-members and try to help them be better.
- They are reliable- whether it’s getting to practice on time or being counted on to back up a teammate in the game.
- They cooperate and pitch in to help, whether that’s in the game or after the game with picking up equipment.
- They treat all teammates with respect, regardless of their personal differences.
- They look for ways to solve problems, instead of complaining about them.
- They encourage and build up teammates, and seek to make them look good in the game.
- They always keep the team’s goals in mind and put that before personal goals.
If you see that your child is struggling to be a team player, take a few minutes to sit down with them and talk about these 10 rules. It’s so important for your kids to learn this while they are young, to build a foundation of their understanding of what it means to be a team player. It is absolutely a character trait they will need in all areas of life as they grow up.
Parents, maybe you too are on a team and are struggling with your role. One of the best ways to help your child be a team player is to model that for them. If you’d like help figuring out how YOU can be a better team player, I’d love to help. I’m a life coach for parents and sports parents. Learn more and schedule a free introductory call here.