COURTSIDE WITH COACH EDMONDS: Being a great teammate

Being a GREAT Teammate is so important to your success!

Being a great teammate. What does this mean exactly?

You hear coaches, players and people associated with sports use this term often, but what does it REALLY mean? If you spoke to those involved in athletics, you’d get varying responses but ALL pretty similar. Being a coach involves so many aspects that pertain to life that to list them all would be another story for me all in itself. One of the main components of coaching is preparing our players for what life holds for them far after sports is over.

I would argue that the greatest skill that we could teach them expands far away from the court or field. It’s teaching them how to be a GREAT TEAMMATE! 

To develop deep and real relationships between themselves, players must get to know their teammates as MORE than the people they share the “field or court of battle” with. The success of any program depends on the player’s willingness to go beyond those territories and begin to develop lasting relationships. I would further argue that this is what separates the good from the truly great teams.

This is where TRUST develops, which is key to any program’s success. So what does being a great teammate entail? In my opinion, one of the keys is learning about your teammates likes and dislikes, who their favorite NBA players are, where do they like to go and eat. To go a step farther, I would think that you would want to know what their social media hangouts are and what video games do they enjoy? It’s the responsibility of EVERY player on the team to be willing to seek out and share themselves with others they go to war with weekly.

Great teammates do their best to bring those that are shy, introverted, extroverted and everyone in between, TOGETHER to begin the bonding process of becoming a great TEAM

Are you looking for examples of how to build better relationships with teammates? How about…

  1. Inviting teammates over for dinner
  2. Stay around after practice for some extra shooting or running a new play
  3. Have a movie night as a team, and go see a movie at a local theater.
  4. Plan a retreat for a day and go to a campground

There are so many more items that I could add to this list, but in essence, the key is to begin doing things TOGETHER (there’s that word again). The worst thing that could happen to a program is when little “cliques” of teammates start to form.

This leads to the team being divided into small groups of three or four people who only hang out with each other, and that could potentially lead to larger issues later on down the line. A great teammate is willing to play any role for the betterment of the TEAM!

Strive to develop real lasting relationships with your teammates and help them too. It will go a long way towards a successful season.

Remember: WE before ME!

Keith Edmonds is a 32-year veteran of teaching and school administration from Fort Wayne. He coached boys high school basketball as an assistant at Snider High School, North Side High School and was the head boys basketball coach at Elmhurst High School for 12 years, advancing to the Class 3A State championship in 2003. Courtside with Coach Edmonds will appear every Monday at Outside the Huddle. These opinions represent those of the writer. No opinions expressed on Outside the Huddle represent those of any of our advertisers. 

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