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Thursday, October 13, 2011

How to be a Team Player

JLC's Super 7th Graders!

"The way a team plays as a whole determines its success." Babe Ruth

“Everyone needs to be a team player.” You hear this all the time: at practice, home, and school, but what exactly does this mean?

Your season is underway, and you’ve gotten to know everyone’s personality on your team. This time of year can be a little bit of a struggle for everyone: you’re in the middle of football season, almost to basketball and possibly preparing for competition. And, of course, it’s almost time for the holidays. 

This is one of the most important times to remember how to be a team player. Here are ten tips on how to be the best team player you can!
  • Sportsmanship – You can be a good sport at practice, competition, games, etc. At practice remember to be fair to others on your team. When another group is trying a new stunt support them as much as you would your own group. Always show respect for the opposing team at games and invite the other team’s cheerleaders over at half-time. And at competitions cheer for the other teams; everyone is there to do their best and have fun!
  • Leadership – If you aren’t the captain you can still be a leader by setting a good example at practice so that others on your team will follow. Your squad members are also visible leaders in the community, so set an example for the entire student body.
JLC's Excellent 8th Graders showing off their beautiful smiles
  • Be Flexible - Things change all the time in cheerleading—your counts, words, motions, stunt groups—just about anything you can think of. Take these changes and embrace them! Your coach is only making these changes to better the team even though you may not see it right away, but that’s the goal.
  • Do your part – If everyone did their part, then we would never have to worry about anything, right!? Easier said than done, but try to make an effort to do your part as best as you possibly can, every time.
  • Respect - Everyone on your team has something to add and everyone’s abilities and talents are different - that’s what makes your team great! Above all else, respect each other!
  • Listen – Listen twice as much as you talk. Listen to what your captain and coach are saying if you have a question, ask! Understand what is being asked of you because if you are unsure this is when someone can get hurt.
  • Commitment – Great team players care about their squad. You have an obligation to the team because without you there, they aren’t a team. Show up to every practice or event, if you have a prior obligation communicate with your coach in advance.
JLC's Sweet 6th Graders
  • Communication - Communication is key! No one will ever know what you’re thinking or feeling if you don’t communicate. Share your ideas and show your team that you care. There is also a time and a place for everything, and if you are having a problem pick the right time and place to discuss the issue.
  • The Blame Game - You are never going to get anywhere by pointing fingers. If you make a mistake, (which everyone does) recognize it, figure out what happened and learn from it. Other people on your team are also going to make mistakes, but let your coach help these individuals.
  • Support – Support each other! This is your family, and your best friends will naturally be other members of your cheerleading squad. Be there for each other; if you see someone having a bad day, help them out.
Written by Jackie Martin
Published on Varsity.com