How To Be A Teammate For Dummies
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How To Be A Teammate For Dummies

There are some do's and don'ts to being a good teammate.

How To Be A Teammate For Dummies

Teammates are the biggest blessing. They are forever friends, and they’re down there in the trenches with you in the heat of battle. Every good teammate shares a few key attributes: respect, a positive and supporting attitude, and pride in their team (not themselves). Through my college career, I have come up with a list of do’s and don’ts that define being a teammate. I have seen it all: the best and the worst of teammates, good leaders and bad. Here are just a few examples of each when it comes to being a teammate:


1. Take concern for your teammates on the field.

Their success means team success. Their success makes you better, because it forces you to get better. Isn’t that what you want?

2. Show concern for your teammates off the field.

A team cannot be successful without chemistry. That includes getting to know your teammates on and off the field and showing concern for their wellbeing. It shows you care, builds trust, and will pay off in the long run.

3. If you’re an underclassmen: listen to your upperclassmen.

They’ve been there, they’ve done it. They’re not clueless. They know what the team needs to be successful, and what it will take for the team to achieve what they are trying to accomplish. I suggest that you listen to them, because they’re usually right.

4. If you’re an upperclassmen: take the underclassmen under your wing.

One of the best things that an upperclassmen teammate could do is make a real effort to get to know the underclassmen. They’re new and inexperienced, so be patient, but make sure you provide them with the right tools and understanding to be successful members of this team. Make a real effort to get to know your younger teammates on and off the field. Help them figure out what they bring to the team and what they need to work on. It will go a long way to bridge the gap between upper and underclassmen.

5. Be inclusive.

Invite everybody. Don’t worry: not everyone is going to come, but don’t let your other teammates hear about the party you had at your apartment last Friday at practice on Monday. It sucks. I’ve been there. It hurts.

6. Take pride in your team.

You are a member of a team. Act like it. Talk about it like you are. When people ask you how you did last weekend, tell them how the team did, tell them how the team came back from being down, not how you hit the game winning double. Because after all, your name didn’t go in the win or loss column, the team name did.


1. Be exclusive. (It's not becoming.)

Whether it’s upperclassmen vs. underclassmen or one clique against the other: STOP. Like it or not, you ALL wear the same jersey on game day; you’re on the same side. If you act like you're not, I can guarantee team success is most likely not in your future.

2. Be all about you. (Guess what? It’s not.)

Your name gets put on the back of the jersey or it doesn't. You represent your team. It is not your show. Your contributions make the team better. Do you look any different than your teammates on game day? No? Didn’t think so. That makes you no better or worse than any other member of your team.

3. Snitch to your coach.

Unless it is absolutely necessary, don’t do it. You are adults. Handle team disputes within the team. Use the leadership systems in place or swallow your pride and get over it. It probably wasn’t that big of a deal.

4. Complain about your teammates to your other teammates.

How does that solve anything? You’re dragging more people into a situation that is clearly between two people. Be an adult. Deal with your own problems.

5. Complain about how our workout “wasn’t that hard."

Want to know what that tells me? You could have worked harder; you could have run faster; you could have lifted five more pounds; you could have gotten one more rep. It tells me that when the game is on the line, I cannot count on you to give our team 100%.

6. Tell me about your scholarship.

Am I on scholarship? Maybe, maybe not. Players on scholarship can sit, and so can walk-ons. It does not define me as a player and it sure as hell does not impact how much of myself I give to my team (which is everything, by the way). That won’t change regardless of how much money I pay to the university.

Being a teammate is not always easy; I am not going to say it is. But there are ways to be a teammate, even if you may not like them. Be respectful and put the team first.

“When you pull on that jersey, you represent yourself and your team, and the name on the front is a hell of a lot more important than the one on the back. Get that through your head.” ~Herb Brooks
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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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