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There are very few sports that don’t involve some level of teamwork. From basketball to soccer, the team will perform better when each player has the capacity to work well with others. Being selfish, or focussing solely on individual strengths is not going to cut it when playing a team sport. If you are somebody who wants to take all the glory, you should probably get into golf instead.

If you are currently involved in a team sport or are thinking about joining a club local to you, the following are what you need to focus on to become a better team player.

Focus on ‘We’ not Me’

A ‘me’ player is somebody who thinks only of themselves. They want to be the one who scores the goal on the field, they want to hear the crowds chanting their name, and they want to be the recognized face of their team. These people are not team players, and will probably be universally disliked by fans and other players alike. On the other hand, ‘we’ people understand their specific role within the team. They play in support of others, knowing when to pass the ball for example, rather than always being in control of it. There will be individual victories within a game, but it’s team glory that matters above all else.

Take time to practice

Nobody wants to be the weak link within a team, so practice is crucial. Not only will you become a better individual at the sport, but you will learn how to work better in a team as well. Whether you spend time practicing with your teammates off the field or attend academies such as the FCBC Canada soccer camps, focussing on your skillset will benefit yourself and those who play alongside you.

Be an encourager

We all need encouragement, and this is something you need to get into the practice of when playing alongside others. Other players may have particular weaknesses for example, but they won’t perform well if you are overly critical of them. In the same way, you expect helpful encouragement from others, be supportive in your words and actions towards other players. Cheer for them when they do something well, and offer a shoulder of support when they make a bad play or are having personal issues away from the game. Knowing everybody has each other’s backs will make for a stronger team.

Learn from others

For all we know you’re the greatest sports player there has ever been. However, this is probably unlikely, so you need to be teachable. Your teammates will offer you advice, and while some of it may be disposable, they may also have words that will resonate with you. Nobody is perfect, and those with more experience than you will be able to guide you, especially when you are new. When relevant, act upon their advice. Ignoring it will only get their backs up and you may be making mistakes that are a hindrance to the team. Learn from others, and improve your game.

Thanks for reading