One of the roles of your coach and teammates is to push you to become better. Healthy competition among each other creates opportunities for each of you to grow in athletic skills and performance outside of regular competition with team opponents.
It’s not personal, it’s for the team.
From my last post, I told you about the meeting with my coach after my first season at UAB. Recall he said,
“I’m going to be honest with you. I really don’t think that you are going to be a major factor on the team next year. You see, we’ve got some really good players coming in next year and they are playing at the level you are playing at right now.”
Then he said, “You might play a little, but I doubt you play at all.”
When I left that meeting, my coach and teammates, the future and present ones at the time, became my enemies. They all became my enemies.
My thoughts were,
Shoot, don’t nobody care about me. He don’t care about me. If he did he wouldn’t replace me like that.
I became determined not to make it easy for anyone to take my spot. I couldn’t care about them anymore. Which meant, I wasn’t going to help them.
So, the next season, my sophomore year, I stopped smiling and hanging with anyone who was a part of my team. As far as I was concerned, I had to take care of me. So, everything became about me.
Me! Me! Me! Me! Me!
I became more of an athlete with a selfish attitude then a teammate out for the good of my team. I was concerned only for me and not for the needs or feelings of others. Most of my actions were concentrated on pleasing myself, sometimes at the expense of others. My main objective was to show everybody, especially my coach and teammates that I could play.
I had taken my coach’s efforts as personal attacks on my ability to play. However, he was just trying to motivate me to improve, to become a better player by introducing the thought of competition.
It worked from an individual standpoint. I improved. But, from a team’s perspective, a selfish player weakens the team.
Because it becomes two sets of goals – selfish player’s goals and then the team’s goals. A team divided most likely will fall. The selfish player is a part of the weak link.
I encourage you to become an unselfish teammate by setting your mind on what is best for your team; allowing your teammates to be in the spotlight; helping your teammates when you can; being considerate of your teammates’ differences; allowing your teammates to have an opinion; and being eager to listen and follow your coaches’ instructions.
What is the last thing you helped your teammate to do?
Let me know at Athlete’s Voice to Integrity (geralinelhandsome.com)
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