Written by Carolyn Keber, True Lacrosse Florida Girls Director
We all play the sport of lacrosse because we are competitive by nature and love being part of a team. Our experiences as an athlete emulate the highs and lows that we experience in life and help us navigate the world off the field. We learn that even with hard work, we may not get the result we are working towards. We also learn that there is no better feeling than celebrating a hard win with your teammates.
There are things during a game out of our control: the level of skill of our competition, the referees, the weather, the fans – any myriad of things. Yet, one major element we CAN control, which is a key factor in winning and losing, is our relationship with our teammates. Here are my top three tips on how to be a good teammate – which can be the difference between being a good team versus a great team.
Your mantra should be, “How can I make my teammate look good?” It’s the concept of being a selfless player. Once you let go of how you can score the goal or be the highlight player, everyone on the team begins to shine. With this in mind all the time, in practice and during games, your team will evolve into a unit that will accomplish great things.
Have a signal on the field that communicates to your teammate to “it’s okay, let it go … we’ve all been there.” Everyone makes mistakes, and we beat ourselves up about it. We feel we’ve let our team down, and it can fester. During a game, you have to leave your mistakes in the past. Easier said than done, right? But, if you see your teammate, make a brush of the shoulder, or motion to wash their hands or whatever your team decides, you feel supported and reminded that your teammates have your back; be this teammate.
Bring a smile to practice. “If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours,” – unknown. A simple smile communicates so much – positivity, love, happiness, support – all things you can share with your teammate by one simple act with the power to change your teammates’ day.
So, go out, play the game hard and be fierce in supporting your teammates!