Since I was a little kid, I understood the importance of teamwork in soccer. I understood that if we wanted to win games, I needed my teammates to be great. The team aspect of soccer is probably the most important in any sport because there are 11 players playing at once. Because team cohesion is vital, have you ever asked yourself, “ Am I a good teammate?” Am I someone who is an integral part of this team? Or am I the one letting the team down? If you don’t have an answer, that’s alright, I will help with that. With that being said, here are the 4 questions you need to ask yourself about what kind of teammate you are.
1. Do you hold yourself accountable?
Can you honestly say that you have put your best foot forward day in and day out? Have you done everything at practice and during the match to perform at a high level? Specifics for what it looks like to be a good teammate could be something like, " I get to practice early and practice my juggling." " I stay late and work on my crossing." These are specifics you can point to that are signs of a good teammate. And if you're being honest with yourself and feel you haven't been accountable, that's ok. It's possible to grow into this type of person, it's going to time mindful work and consistency from you.
2. Are you willing to hear feedback and criticism?
This is a tough one, whether you're a young kid or a pro, the initial critics can make you feel mad, or sad, and that's normal because you feel like it is personal. Remember this, it is not personal. Teammates are giving you this information because they want to see improvement from you. Your teammates understand the importance of individuals improving to better the collective.
3. Do you know when to be positive and when to push more with your teammates?
Every player has needs and those needs differ. Because they are individuals, you need to understand when to be tough on teammates, and when to back off and be more positive in support. This will take time to build this relationship, but is possbile of both parties are accepting of this notion.
4. Have you built rapport with your teammates?
Rapport is huge with any team success. Rapport can and needs to be built through understanding the person you're playing with. Any successful teams I was apart of having friendships that go past the soccer field. When you have chances, learn about your teammates. See what their interest are and what they enjoy doing when they're not playing soccer.