Are You a Good Team Mate? | Softball is For Girls

What does it mean to be a good teammate? 

Let’s be 100% real – when you assemble a group of girls, the chance that they are all going to like each-other and be BFF’s is slim. And a lot of athletes and parents seem to mix up being friends with being a good teammate. In softball, and in life – you aren’t going to be in love with everyone on your team just because they are on your team. That is an unreasonable expectation.

But what is NOT an unreasonable expectations – is that you treat everyone on your team WITH RESPECT, regardless of your personal differences. It is imperative that you respect yourself, the game, your coaches and everyone else on your team enough that you don’t let your personal differences cause a great divide among your team.

And the same is true with parental differences. They have zero impact on building a positive team culture.

So are you a good teammate? We want the kids to really think about this!

Because being a good teammate is not about just showing up? It’s not about what you do and say when people are looking..In Fact how you behave when people aren’t looking is much more indicative of character.

It’s not even about how well you hit, field, pitch, catch, throw or run or cheer.

Being a good teammate is very similar to being a good person. 

Being a good teammate means…..

  • You avoid, diffuse, and refuse to let pettiness or drama cross the foul lines. It doesn’t matter if you are hurt, mad, angry. It doesn’t matter if your favorite person is playing first base or not. It doesn’t matter if you agree or disagree with a coaching decision. You are a good teammate, if you are mature enough to cross the foul lines UNITED in your goals AS A TEAM – no ifs ands or buts.
  • You do not cast blame for the ball not caught, the hit not got, the error, the walks, the passed balls. Because while one play, one swing can be the game changer – the reality is that these opportunities don’t just fall on the back of one person or one play…
  • You do not let your mood affect your performance. Heck, you shouldn’t let your mood affect your team at all. Get over yourself and stop being selfish. You can dwell in your bad mood on your own time – when you are on the teams’ time your bad mood is nothing but a drain to everyone around you.
  • You hold yourself ACCOUNTABLE. 
  • You look for solutions to problems, aren’t afraid to try and BE the solution and never stoop to EXCUSES.
  • You are resilient. Hang your head every time you make an error? Are you a player who is ‘done’ once something negative in the field occurs? This does not make you a good teammate. Stay positive! Stay focused. BE STRONG in mind and spirit. If you can’t do it for yourself – do it for your team!
  • You don’t have to be the star of the show, hit the game winning hit, or make the last out to be happy. You are genuinely happy for your teammates when they have a good day on the field and aren’t afraid to show it AUTHENTICALLY! 
  • You refrain from putting TEAM drama on social media.
  • Great teammates seek to develop real relationships with their teammates and keep an open mind.
  • Are willing to play ANY ROLE asked of them on the team. 
  • You always work to IMPROVE YOURSELF.
  • You are honest.
  • Great teammates whisper criticism and shout praise!
  • You are reliable and consistent with your actions and behaviors towards others.
  • You try to lead by example. “Be the good you wish to see”
  • You understand that ALL OF your roles and actions as an individual plays an IMPORTANT ROLL in the greater function of the entire team. You understand that YOU affect team chemistry and aim to make your mark positively at all times. 
  • You understand that what is best for you, is not always best for the team!

Good news is there is always time to make a change! As adults, we need to help our kids realize that beyond toddlerhood the world does not revolve around them and them alone! And as players, we need to pass on not just the responsibility but the EXPECTATION that our kids become good team mates. 

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