Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Are you a bad teammate?

If you read the title of my blog today, you probably answered "Of course I'm not!  I'm an awesome teammate!" You might have even made a "pssht" noise and a dismissive gesture, and thought about not reading the entry.  But, I'm glad you did, because at one time or another, we've all been a crappy teammates; usually we don't even realize we are doing it, but it happens.  Check out this list and see if you've done the following.  It's time to make yourself a better teammate.

1. Are you a glory hog on and off of the track?  Remember, it's not all about you!  If your teammate has the jammer under control, but she needs a bridge so she won't get out of play, don't run up and try and take over blocking!  Sometimes you have to be the one to play a secondary role and let your teammate shine.  Trust her!  She's got it!  Also, I understand that jammers tend to get a lot of credit and admiration from the fans, but please jammers, remember who got you through the pack and stopped the other jammer!  Remember to give credit to your blockers!  You didn't get a 30 point jam all on your own!

2.  Do you lose control emotionally?  A ref called you to the box for a cut track major, and you KNOW you didn't do it.  After you fume in the box for a minute, you go back to your bench with the angriest face and cursing under your breath; what a joy you must be to sit next to on the bench! You need to shake off the bad things that happen, the back blocks that weren't called, being passed over for line ups, everything!  Ever hear the expression fake it till you make it?  Sometimes you have to smile first on the outside before you feel it on the inside.  Remember, both smiles and frowns are contagious on the bench.  Which would you rather be spreading?

3.  Not cheering your team on?  Sometimes we forget that others need to hear that we are pulling for them.  Granted, some people are worried about "blowing smoke" and making false sounding compliments.  I suggest you state the obvious and find something positive to point out to your fellow teammates.  Sometimes it might be the way they held their ground, or they way they kept going, even when they were being pummeled by the entire pack.  You know what you'd like to hear after you come away from a rough jam; let them hear it from you.

4.  Do you bring your personal baggage to the game or practice?  Bad day at work?  Break a nail?  Bad hair day?  Boyfriend/girlfriend being a jerk?  Hormonal?  Your personal crap should be tabled as soon as you strap your skates on.  Let me repeat that.  DO NOT BRING YOUR PERSONAL CRAP TO PRACTICE OR A GAME.  Nobody wants to smell it.

So there we are.  Have you been guilty of being a bad teammate?  I know I have, but my experiences over the years have taught me to be a better teammate.  Do I occasionally have a relapse?  Heck yeah, but I am working on it.  My teammates help me too!

Sometimes you have to hug it out.  Photo by a Boy Named Tsunami

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