Every player, regardless of ability, can be a great teammate. It is important to not only lead on the field, but on the sidelines as well. Being a great teammate on the sideline can boost the energy of your teammates allowing you to have an impact even when you are not in the game.
1) A great teammate gives relentless effort: You cannot control many things that will happen during your lacrosse season, but you can control how hard you play. The only way to get better is to give your maximum effort. This not only makes you better, it pushes your teammates to get better as well. Remember, you practice how you play!
2) A great teammate is unselfish: Put the team first. Your job is to do what it takes to help the team be successful. This isn’t always easy, but great teammates find a way to put the success of the team above their own success. Even if you are on the sideline during a game, it is important to be cheering your teammates on and uplifting them. Bench mobs are a huge part of a successful team.
3) A great teammate is honest: All great teams and relationships are built on honesty. Your coach and teammates need to know that they can trust you during the ups and downs.
4) A great teammate is humble: Lacrosse is a team sport. You may be the star of your team or you may be a role player, either way, remember that the team comes first. Put your individual accomplishments aside and give praise to your teammates. Successful teams are focused on the team's success, and less worried about individual stats.
5) A great teammate holds themselves and their teammates accountable: You should have high standards for yourself and your teammates. When you make a mistake, own up to it and fix it, don’t place the blame elsewhere or make excuses. Additionally, if a teammate is not fulfilling duties to the team, don’t be afraid to confront them and help get them back on track. You may need to help a teammate buy into a particular strategy, or help them accept their role on the team. Don’t accept a negative attitude from teammates, be the player that reaches out to them in order to better the team.
6) A great teammate strives to improve: You can always be a better player tomorrow than you are today. Work to improve your game and you will encourage your teammates to do the same. Stay and work after practice and see how many teammates start to join you.
7) A great teammate is optimistic: Don’t be a player constantly complaining to others about what’s wrong. That negativity becomes contagious and begins to negatively impact the team. Look for the positives in your teammates and coaches. When things are challenging, look to uplift the team rather than dwell on the negative.
8) A great teammate has respect for others: Respect your teammates, coaches, family, teachers, facilities, and school. Be an active listener to show you are engaged. Look your coaches in the eyes when they speak to you, and show that you understand by nodding your head. Help create a culture of mutual respect, and it will take you far.
9) A great teammate is a leader: You don’t have to be the best player on your team to be a leader. You don’t always need to be a vocal leader, you can lead by example. Make sure what you are doing on a daily basis is making your team better. Challenge your teammates during drills, bring high energy to every practice and game, and maintain a positive attitude. When you do these things, you’ll improve and so will your teammates.
10) A great teammate is resilient: Help your team use temporary setbacks or losses as an opportunity to grow and improve. Don’t make excuses, look for solutions. Your ability to bounce back will be infectious, and help make your entire team more resilient. In any situation, one player’s positive outlook can make a difference.
11) A great teammate helps foster a family atmosphere: Support your teammates like family. Your season is going to have highs and lows, and so are your teammates. Teams that have close relationships are usually the teams having the most fun and the most success.
12) A great teammate takes responsibility: Take responsibility for your behavior and actions at all times. Everything you do is a reflection of your team, coaches, and teammates. You never know who is looking at you for cues on how to behave. Taking responsibility for your actions and showing humility will gain the respect of your teammates and coaches.
Being a great teammate goes beyond being the best player on the field. Being a “bench mob” player has a far greater impact on the team and can set you apart from the others. It can truly help your teammates succeed and allow you to impact your team in far greater ways than you think.