Four Tips for being a Great Teammate

What makes a great teammate?  

In a blog on her website, Carrie Cheadle, a certified consultant through the Association for Applied Sport Psychology and author of the book On Top of Your Game: Mental Skills to Maximize Your Athletic Performancelists four important qualities for athletes to possess in being a high school athlete who is there when it counts for other members of the team.

Be trustworthy.

Cheadle writes that "With team sports, trust and respect are linked closely together. If you want to build trust on your team, start by being trustworthy." A key element to being trustworthy is to do what you say you're going to do.  By acting this way, your teammates will reciprocate and act the same way.

Fight for each other's success. 

"If you want to make sure that your role is appreciated and valued," writes Cheadle, "then you need to make sure that you are appreciating and valuing the roles of your teammates." She notes that every athlete must find the balance between taking care of yourself and taking care of your team, and athletes need to find the right formula to be able to do both. "When you can get to that place where you truly believe that your teammate's win is your win, then you have a team," Cheadle says.

Be honest.

Cheadle says an athlete is not doing his or her teammates any favors by not calling them out and not being honest. "It can be difficult to do," says Cheadle, "but if you are sincere in your dealings with people, then they will listen when you have something to say. It takes courage to be the person that calls out your teammates or to be the one that says something that goes against the grain. If you show your teammates respect and they know that you have their best interest in mind, then they will listen to what you have to say."

Your teammates are people too.

Cheadle emphasizes that athletes need to know their teammates value what they do outside of the sports arena. "You don't have to be best friends with all of your teammates," says Cheadle, "but it doesn't hurt to ask them about their life outside of their sport every once in a while."

Cheadle has the following advice for athletes who can't think of anything to ask their teammates—ask these types of question to get a conversation going:

  • Would you rather be three feet taller or three feet shorter?
  • If you were stranded on a desert island, would you rather be stuck there with someone you hate, or be stuck there solo?
  • Which would you give up first, your phone or your email?

Click here to read the full blog post.