Monday, November 21, 2011

5 Traits of a TEAM Player

Over the course of the past 4 weeks, I have been delivering the Positive Coaching Alliance message of becoming a Triple-Impact Competitor to Dallas ISD middle school athletes. We consider someone to be a Triple-Impact Competitor when they make themselves better, their teammates better, and the game as a whole better. Here are five traits that players can possess to make them better teammates, and int turn, make their teammates better.

1. Tenacity - A true team player has a "never-say-die" attitude. There is no quit in them; it just isn't an option in their mind. Nor should it ever be a fleeting thought in the mind of those around him. Team players continue to battle, giving every ounce of energy, until the final buzzer no matter what the scoreboard reads.

2. Selflessness - A true team player is willing to sacrifice for the greater good. This may be taking on a different role, such as coming off the bench instead of starting. It could be stepping up on defense instead of concentrating on scoring. No matter the situation, a team player is willing to do whatever it takes for the betterment of the team and set aside any personal agenda.

3. Tremendous Work Ethic - We have heard this called a "Blue Collar" player or a guy that "brings his lunch pail every day." A true team player simply puts his mind, heart, and soul completely into every possession once he crosses the lines. He never complains and just does his job. He also asks what else he can do to help the team in addition to his job.

4. Tank Filling - A true team player knows that his team is family. He understands that infighting and bickering is cancerous and will ultimately destroy the family. He works hard to maintain a 5:1 positive to criticism ratio. He is the first to run to a teammate that just dove for a loose ball or taken a charge. He shows his appreciation for great effort and lifts his teammates up when the chips are down.

5. Ownership - True team players are completely invested in the team. He understands that he is a small part of something greater than himself. He gives himself completely to making the team successful. He owns up to his mistakes using his mistake ritual. When problems arise, he works for a solution; not pile it on and continue to be part of the problem.

Shake It Off and Step Up

One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for ...hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey.

He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement he quieted down.

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.

As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!

Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a steppingstone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up!

You have two choices in the face of adversity:
1. Shake it off and take a step up
2. Be a jackass crying and whining about it and get buried.

The donkey later came back, and bit the farmer who had tried to bury him. The gash from the bite got infected and the farmer eventually died in agony from septic shock.

When you do something wrong, and try to cover your ass, it always comes back to bite you.