17 Oct The 12 Qualities of a Great Teammate

The 12 Qualities of a Great Teammate

At Susquehannock campers learn about being a great teammate in every aspect of their summer experience. These campers aren’t simply on a single team – they are part of a team with their cabin mates, their Dining Hall table and their respective Orange or Blue squad. Being a great teammate is a skill that will benefit a child for their entire life.

Executive Director of Head Start Basketball Mike Klintzing describes 12 qualities of a great teammate. I hope you enjoy!

Not every athlete has been blessed with great talent, but every player – regardless of ability – can be a great teammate. Here are 12 qualities of a great teammate. Do these qualities describe you or your young player?

1. A great teammate gives relentless effort
Remember, your coach should not have to coach effort! You cannot control many things that will happen during your Basketball season, but you can control how hard you play. The only way to get better is to give your maximum effort. This not only makes you better, it pushes your teammates to get better as well.

2. A great teammate is unselfish
Put the team first. Your job is to do what it takes to help the team be successful. This isn’t always easy, but great teammates find a way to put the success of the team above their own success.

3. A great teammate is honest
All great teams and relationships are built on honesty. Your coach and teammates need to know that they can trust you during the ups and downs of a season.

4. A great teammate is humble
Basketball is a team sport. You may be the star of your team, or you may be a role player, either way, remember that the team comes first. Put your individual accomplishments aside and give praise to your teammates. Teams succeed when no one cares who gets the credit.

5. A great teammate holds themselves and their teammates accountable
You should have high standards for yourself and your teammates. If a teammate is not fulfilling their duty to the team, you can’t be afraid to confront them and get them back on track. You might need to help them buy into a particular strategy or help them accept their role on the team. Don’t accept a negative attitude from teammates, be the player that reaches out to them to help your team.

6. A great teammate strives to improve
You can always be a better player tomorrow than you are today. Work to improve your game and you will lift your teammates. Stay and work after practice and see how many teammates start to join you.

7. A great teammate is optimistic
You can always be a better player tomorrow than you are today. Work to improve your game and you will lift your teammates. Stay and work after practice and see how many teammates start to join you.

8. A great teammate has respect for others
Respect your teammates. Respect your coaches. Respect your family. Respect your teachers. Respect your facilities. Respect your school. Look people in the eye. Nod and acknowledge your coach when they are addressing you. Clean up after yourself. Be polite. Encourage and cheer on your teammates. Help create a culture of mutual respect.

9. A great teammate is a leader
You don’t have to be the best player on your team to be a leader. You don’t even need to be a vocal leader. Every player can lead by their actions. Is what you do on a daily basis making your team better? Challenge your teammates during drills. You’ll improve and so will they. Bring energy to every practice. Don’t talk badly about teammates or coaches outside the team environment. These are all ways you can lead your teammates towards success.

10. A great teammate is resilient
Help your team use temporary setbacks or losses as an opportunity to grow and improve. Don’t make excuses, look for solutions. As a mentally-tough Basketball player, pride yourself on being resilient. Your ability to bounce back will be infectious and help make your entire team more resilient. In any situation, one player’s positive outlook can make a difference. Try to be that player.

11. A great teammate helps foster a family atmosphere
Support your teammates like family. Your season is going to have highs and lows, and so are your teammates. Teams that build close relationships are usually the teams having the most fun and having the most success.

12. A great teammate takes responsibility
All of your actions, within and away from the team, are a representation of your team, your school or organization, and your family. Take responsibility for your behavior and actions at all times. Conduct yourself in such a way that your parents, coaches, and teachers would be proud of you. You never know who is looking at you for cues on how to behave.

I hope you found this article to be helpful. Being a great teammate in life will mean success in sports, personal life and career.

10 Oct How the Mindset of an Olympian Can Be Developed and Used by Any Athlete at Any Level

How the Mindset of an Olympian Can Be Developed and Used by Any Athlete at Any Level

I recently read an article by Dr. Colleen Hacker on how to develop the mindset of an Olympian. Dr. Hacker specializes in Sport and Exercise Psychology and was on the coaching staff for six Olympic teams in three different sports (Soccer, Field Hockey and Ice Hockey).

Dr. Hacker contends that Olympians aren’t just born, they are “developed through passion, perseverance, practice and purposeful action.”

She believes the same principles and techniques we cultivate to achieve excellence in the Olympic Games can be mastered and adopted by athletes and teams at any level and in any sport.

That said, let me share with you Dr. Hacker’s 5 mindset principles of Olympians, the fundamentals of this mindset take place every day at Susquehannock…

1. You don’t have to finish first to be a winner
We challenge our athletes to carry themselves as champions regardless of the score or outcome both in practice and in competition. Athletes can exhibit integrity and positive character in all aspects of sport and in life. They don’t depend on winning to maintain confidence, a passion for playing and practicing, joy in being with their teammates and a commitment to becoming a better version of themselves as athletes, as teammates and as people.

2. Control the Controllables
Each sport is comprised of four pillars: technical components (skills unique to that sport), tactical components (team strategy, offense, and defensive sets, etc.), physiological components (strength, endurance, speed, flexibility, anaerobic power, etc.) and psychological components (mental toughness, imagery, focus, confidence, action plans, etc.).

Just like Olympians, athletes at every level should be actively practicing and targeting improvements in each of the four pillars daily. However, not all aspects of sport are completely under an athlete’s control. Athletes cannot control their opponents, the officials, the weather, or the score (and countless other competitive variables), but they can control many factors. Focusing on and targeting the variables under their control can help athletes improve, enjoy the process, maximize their potential and play like champions. So, when we ask athletes to “Control the Controllables,”we emphasize things like attitude, work rate, effort, their response to errors, bench behavior, good sporting behavior, being a good teammate, positive body language and productive actions to name a few.

3. Understand the Power of “New Math” which we represent with the equation 1+1=3
We remind our team that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. We are stronger together. We challenge our athletes to make a teammate look good, play for something bigger than themselves, adopt a team-first attitude and celebrate and recognize a range of important team behaviors much broader than simply talent on the field, court or ice.

4. Play in the NOW!
There are only three points in time; the past, the future and NOW. Only one of those time frames is under your control, and that is playing in the now. It’s so easy to get caught up in the future: if we score, or don’t / if I make the team or don’t / if we win the gold medal, or don’t and on and on and on. Equally likely is the temptation to dwell on the past: thinking about a mistake you made, the “bad” call from the official or the time the coach corrected you in public. However, only when you focus on the now – the present – this moment, this play, this puck, this defensive stop, only then are you really in control as an athlete.

5. Adopt a Beginner’s Mindset
We challenge our athletes to expect to learn something new each day. When you expect to learn, you do! Have a spirit of openness and cultivate a growth mindset. Be coachable. Take responsibility to share knowledge and experience and insight as often as you ask for help, guidance, and correction. Appreciate small improvements in any of the four pillars and understand that big things come from the smallest changes.

When you watch Olympians, take the opportunity to look for examples of these five Mindset Principles. You will see countless moments of excellence in which athletes and teams displayed these techniques regardless of the sport or outcome. Often, you will see that being an inner winner is a common feature for every Olympic athlete and team.

I hope you enjoyed this bit of information. Once again, members of Team USA will be joining us at Susquehannock next summer in hopes of passing on these principles to the campers.