When a Teammate Trips Up

Posted by Lloyd on September 17, 2012
Extreme Sports

Sometimes, though, your teammates are going to let you down. They will mess up a play, trip themselves up or totally blow the game. As a member of that team, you’re understandably disappointed and probably a bit irritated, as well. But try to keep in mind that everyone has an off day now and again. You’ve had them, too. It can be hard for all the members to synchronize their performances at the critical time and a thousand things can impact the outcome of the game or an individual’s performance on any given day.

At times like these, it’s tempting to hog the ball yourself. You might think you can do it better on your own and try to make the hotshot play to save the game or the season. As tempting as it can be, in the end it will backfire. Go back to the first section and re-read. Every player is on the team for a reason. Everyone has something to contribute. Even in a situation like this, you’ve got to let go of the ball. Pass it off and hope for the best.

But that’s not all you can do. When you see a teammate struggling, be supportive instead of critical. Can you see what the player is doing wrong? Maybe you can offer a few pointers. At the very least you can sympathize and help focus on the positives without beating the negatives — the mistakes that were made — to death.

Remember, you get that which you focus on. If you focus on the negatives and berate your teammate for mistakes, that player will only be more worried and probably downright paranoid about it the next time around. With all that focus on the negative, the chance for a repeat negative performance increases. That’s the last thing you want.

Instead, focus on the positives. Encourage your teammates, applaud them for a job well done and recognize them for their contributions to the team’s success. Recognize and acknowledge that you are all in this together and no one is perfect. If a player is having a bad day, help them rebuild their confidence and inspire them to do better next time. Getting down on them won’t accomplish anything. It will only lead to hard feelings and poor morale among the players.

Remember, together everyone on the team can work hard to accomplish more than any one of you could ever do on your own. So you may as well face it. You need each other. Everyone knows it, and it’s okay to say it.

Why not take a new player under your wing and help him or her advance to that next level. Work on the basics and help the player develop his or her skills. Share the benefit of your experience in the game. Give a rookie a generous dose of support. Your time spent mentoring a newer player will pay big dividends for everyone on your team — and together you can share the glory.

Tags: , ,