One of the great things about football is that it teaches you how to be a good teammate.
This is a lesson that serves us our entire lives.
We’ve all heard about the chemistry of great teams.
It’s not something you can see or measure but it’s there.
It’s always there in great teams.
First and foremost this chemistry requires good teammates.
It’s impossible to have a great team without them.
Let’s look at some of the traits of how to be a good teammate.
Good Teammate Traits
Being part of a team requires good relationships.
Part of any good relationship is the ability to be honest with one another.
Sometimes that means calling guys out when they are not doing the right thing.
This is tough but you can’t have a great team without honesty.
It also requires you to be honest with yourself.
Can you call yourself out when the time comes?
Building trust takes time.
Honesty is a big part of being able to trust someone.
Teammates also need to know that can trust that you are going to do the right thing.
Both on and off the field.
As a football player, each teammate must trust the man next to them.
Your teammates have to trest you to do your job.
Great teams are built on respect.
You have to have respect for your coaches, your teammates, the officials and the fans.
A lack of repsect is a cancer on a team.
Without respect you can’t gain trust and that makes it very difficult to have success on the field.
Every team faces adversity.
In many cases, that adversity comes directly to individual players.
A running back fumbles.
A defensive back blows a coverage.
A wide receiver drops a touchdown pass.
A kicker misses a game tying field goal.
Whatever the adversity is, your teammate will need to be lifted up.
You have to have their back.
Can you give without getting back?
Can you sacrifice for your teammates?
As a lineman, you have to e a selfless player.
You aren’t going to get all the accolades that a QB, Running Back, WR, Linebacker or DB might get.
The question you should continue asking yourself is, “What can I do for my team?”
Never, “What can my team do for me?”
Are you able to let others hold you accountable?
It can’t just be words.
Actions are what make things happen.
Your coaches and teammate need to hold you accountable for your actions or lack of actions.
Will you do what you say you’re going to do?
Can your teammates depend on you to do your job every time?
Being dependable will serve you your entire life.
Whether it’s being dependable for your team, your job, or your family, it speaks to your character.
So what kind of teammate are you?
Which of these traits do you need work on?
Keep these traits of how to be a good teammate in mind for your next season.
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How important is it to know your role on a team?
Everyone on a team has a role. Regardless of the sport.
In football, with 11 players on the field, knowing your role and understanding the roles of others is essential.
My college football coach said it well…
“Know your role. Know where you fit in, know how your contribution contributes to the greater whole. More importantly, know and appreciate the roles of those around you.” – Barry Alvarez
Everyone wants to be a star and that’s okay.
As a coach, you want players that have the mindset to be the best.
However, not everyone will be a star and that’s okay too.
In today’s video, I discuss two things that coaches and players can do to ensure you know your role.
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2 Steps to Know Your Role
1. Defining your role.
Sometimes the most difficult part of being on a team is figuring out where you fit in.
When you get to the high school level not everyone will play in every game.
Understanding your role is crucial to the success of the team.
As a player, you need to understand what is expected of you on your team.
There are MANY roles on a football team.
Stars, vocal leader, leaders by example, special situational players, and even the goofball to lighten the mood.
All are critical to the success of a team.
Some coaches are great at explaining roles and others are not.
As a player, if you are not clear about your role on a team then you MUST speak with your coach.
A good coach will be able to explain how you are expected to contribute to the team.
Understanding your role and what is expected relieves pressure and allows you to focus on your job.
I was chosen as a team captain in both high school and in college.
It was an incredible honor both times.
It was also a bit scary.
Not being a vocal leader at all, I had to figure out what this role as a captain meant.
In both high school and college I had coaches that helped me to figure out my role.
I thought a captain had to be vocal but that wasn’t the case.
My coaches helped define my role as a captain.I realized that I didn’t have to be a vocal leader.
I realized that I didn’t have to be a vocal leader and I could focus on leading by example.
The funny thing is, when I did speak up, it was far more effective.
If I had continued to worry about that it would have affected my play and the way I interacted with my teammates.
2. Appreciating roles of others.
We’ve all heard about team chemistry.
Chemistry comes from players meshing and appreciating one another.
All the great teams that I can think of had great role players and not just superstars.
The Chicago Bulls teams of the 90s had superstars like Michael Jordan and Scotty Pippen.
They also had incredible role players like Steve Kurr (outside sharpshooter), Dennis Rodman (the rebounding machine), and Ron Harper (the perimeter defensive expert).
Without those guys, the Bulls don’t win 6 NBA championships.
Think about current teams with superstars that don’t have enough good role players around them.
Adrian Peterson in Minnesota, Kevin Durant in Oklahoma City (now flush with role players in Golden State), and Mike Trout with the Angels are all superstars in their sports.
What these players have lacked is the right combination of players around them to win championships.
Not only do you have to have the right role players you also have to make sure all of those roles feel appreciated.
This is not only the responsibility of the coaches but the players too.
No matter how good a running back, quarterback or receiver is, without the guys up front they go nowhere.
The same thing is true on defense.
If you don’t have good defensive tackles that take on double teams and use up blockers, the linebackers won’t be able to clean up behind them.
Everyone has a role on a team and they all need to know they are essential to the team.
I hope you found some value learning how to know your role.
If you did please like, comment and share.