Are you the kind of teammate your team needs you to be?

by Jeff Smith

A coaching colleague of mine published the best list I've read for describing in detail what it means to be an outstanding teammate. From #10 through #1, the 10 qualities listed below all have one thing in common: relationships.

Positive, successful relationships are essential to a thriving volleyball team. And these relationships must be built on strong character and a common set of core values that permeate the entire team roster, from the coach through every player on the squad.

Athletes, use the 10 traits below as a checklist to evaluate how you are doing in each of these areas.

Coaches, sift your team's culture, habits and health through the filter of these 10 traits.

Parents, examine this list and consider how your son or daughter fits these traits and where they need to grow -- and how you can play a part in that growth.

Athletes, coaches and parents: Be honest with yourselves in your assessment of yourself, your team or your child. This list can illuminate the areas where you come up short and create an exciting opportunity for you to stretch and develop in new ways as a teammate, leader or sports parent.


10. You’ll play any role necessary for the sake of the team’s success.

9. You’d rather play less and win than play all the time and lose.

8. When you score, you immediately turn and thank a teammate.

7. You love training as much as you do playing in games.

6. You respect your opponent, but do not fear them.

5. You listen to your coaches and they readily describe you as coachable.

4. You are quick to pick up any teammate who is having a bad day.

3. You go out of your way to help younger teammates get better, even if it risks your own playing time.

2. You learn from each mistake you make.

1. You are confident in your abilities, but never arrogant toward your team or opponents.

Jeff Smith is Serve City's volleyball region director.