Learning how to be a better teammate is an important skill in life. Whether it's being a better teammate at work or being a better teammate in basketball, the steps you take to get there are the same.
Being a good teammate requires communication, selflessness, the willingness to cooperate, and the ability to be able to take accountability.
Of course, things are easier said than done. So how exactly can you become a good teammate? Let's get into what makes a good teammate and some tips that you can apply RIGHT NOW to improve your teamwork.
This means actively listening to your team members, while communicating your thoughts and ideas clearly as well. This can be tough as some people focus on one thing more than the other. Some people may communicate their thoughts, but suffer from not actively listening to their teammates. Other times, some people may be listening to others, but not communicating their feelings.
Strong communicators know when to communicate their thoughts for the benefit of the team, while also considering their teammate's feelings and ideas as well. They are always on the same page as their team.
To get better at communicating with your team, ask yourself these questions:
There is no "i" in team. One individual can only do so much, but when you work together as a team, the opportunities are endless. This goes doubly true when playing sports!
For example, in basketball, one individual player can get shut down easily by the enemy team by tightening up defense on that one player. Even if that player was considered better than their teammates, the options that player can do are very limited. But if that player passes to their teammates, this opens many more opportunities to score.
Working together as a unit and recognizing when to step down for the betterment of the team is a skill that can vastly increase your chances of achieving the team's goal.
To know if you're putting the team first, ask yourself these questions:
There may be times where you find it difficult to cooperate with everyone in your team. Perhaps you don't see eye to eye or you just simply don't get along well with them. Ideally, you want to have trusting relationships with your teammates, however sometimes things might not always work out.
Despite this, it's important to not let your personal affairs and relationships affect your team chemistry. You must be able to set aside your personal feelings for the sake of the team and be willing to cooperate with everyone.
By cooperating with everyone and keeping a positive attitude, you can help create a team full of trust, energy, and an environment where everyone can perform at their best.
To know if you're cooperating with your teammates, ask yourself these questions:
Mistakes can happen and will eventually happen. It's important to take accountability for your actions when these mistakes do happen. When you take accountability for your actions, it shows your teammates you care and are willing to take the necessary actions in order to fix your mistake.
When mistakes happen, it's also important to learn from them and to do your best not to let it happen again. Even if the mistake was not directly your fault, you must be able to stay calm and think about what you could have done better.
By holding yourself accountable for your actions, you can push yourself to become a more reliable teammate. When these mistakes do happen, you can use it as an opportunity to grow and learn so that you become a more consistent team member.
To know if you're taking accountability, ask yourself these questions:
Being a good teammate can be difficult. It requires a lot of communication, selflessness, cooperation, and responsibility. Despite this, being a better teammate can help improve not only your team, but your own personal skills as well. It will help make you a better communicator, a better problem-solver, and overall, make you a more likeable person.