Today marks the third 5K race in 8 days for the Haymaker Varsity Cross Country team. We are into the “tough” part of the season where fitness is critical and mental determination creates success. As a coach, I sometimes find myself struggling to find the right words to help the athletes believe in themselves and continuously engage in the running journey.
Words are powerful.
When chosen carefully and delivered effectively:
- They inspire.
- They create.
- They bring beauty to our lives.
In order for words to bring about positive change, they must be heard and they must be meaningful. The bottom line for us is that, as a team, we must celebrate our differences as we build team unity. A culture of hard work and excellence plays a critical role. And, it extends beyond the physical to include our ability to be good teammates.
What are the top 5 qualities of a good teammate?
Heart: Packing your FAITH to trust in both yourself and your teammates creates a team with heart. Building a positive culture inspires a unity dedicated to greatness.
Work Ethic: The road to excellence is never comfortable. Expect to work tirelessly under conditions that will be uncomfortable. Success is often found in the midst of challenge and surrounded by hard work.
Integrity: Truth in thoughts, words and actions creates a team worth fighting for. Love yourself enough to be true to your uniqueness – Love your teammates enough to embrace diversity – Love your sport enough to give it your all.
Leadership: Supporting and mentoring others inspires greatness. The team is bigger than any one individual or race. What you build together is infinitely greater than anything that you can build alone. Life is a journey – one that contains a vastness of joy that can only be tapped through community.
Passion: Race with passion. Give it your all, recognizing that you bring honor to your God, your team, and your sport when you dig deep to compete with perseverance.
In preparation for a swim team meeting today, my favorite blonde cowgirl and I brainstormed and put together 10 Qualities of a Good Teammate. None of these qualities are linked directly with natural athletic talent, however, all of them directly determine an athlete’s success. Building these skills is not easy; however their importance extends far beyond the athletic field and into the game of life.
- Heart: To be a good teammate, you must have enough faith to trust both in your abilities as well as every other team member’s.
- Friendship: To be a good teammate, you must extend friendship and acceptance toward all members. This includes recognizing that no one is perfect and being able to forgive in order to better both yourself and the team.
- Work Ethic: To be a good teammate, you must be willing to work hard – to push yourself to the point of exhaustion – in order to achieve new levels of strength and ability.
- Leadership: To be a good teammate, you must show a positive attitude and look outside of yourself in order to support and mentor others.
- Integrity: To be a good teammate, you must be truthful in your thoughts, words, and actions.
- Passion: To be a good teammate, you must give everything that you have in every moment of competition and training with a strong positive energy that comes from the heart.
- Kindness: To be a good teammate, you must always be both humble and kind. Learning to support others and help them to achieve greatness provides the basis for both personal and team success.
- Positive Culture: To be a good teammate, you must believe in and share the power of positivity – this occurs by encouraging others and inspiring greatness in all those around you.
- Competitive Nature: To be a good teammate, you must be willing to live in the moment of the race and fight for victory – not just for yourself but for those who proudly share the same uniform.
- Leave it all on the deck: To be a good teammate, you must leave all negative emotions and drama outside of the pool so that you can bond with your teammates and work together to build something greater than yourself.
One of my swimmers reminded me this week that “Perseverance = Stubborness with a Purpose” — Imagine how awesome our world would be if everyone persevered on the journey of being a good teammate!