In softball or any other team sport, being a good teammate is as crucial as being a good athlete. Teams who work together on and off the field and have strong team chemistry can achieve more over time. Having good teammates makes the team more resilient; when things do not go their way, they respond and adapt better than those with less chemistry.
Although the impact you make on the field is one major factor in the recruiting process, your impact in the dugout, practice field, classroom, and at home is just as significant. Coaches want a complete person, someone that can have a meaningful impact on the team as a whole.
Here are some suggestions on being a good teammate.
Encourage those around you.
Athletes feed off of energy, both positive and negative. Encouragement creates confidence, and you want your teammates to know that no matter the outcome, you all have each other’s back. That feeling leads to a higher level of confidence, which leads to better production.
Be a Balloon, not an Anchor.
Much like baseball, softball is a sport where failing 66% of the time is considered successful. The game is full of failures. When those failures occur, our teammates must be there to lift us. Teammates build one another up, and they do not pull each other down. Find a way to lift the spirits of a teammate and help them get things back on track, and they will do the same for you when the time comes.
Be the teammate willing to stay behind and work with a teammate who needs the extra work when the coaches are gone. Not because you need the work, but because together you can achieve more. Help put balls on the tee for them, hit them grounders, run with them, whatever they need is just an opportunity for you to help them and help yourself at the same time.
100% Effort is the Only Level of Effort.
Simple question, what is the point of playing or doing anything unless you are willing to give maximum effort? Being a good teammate is leading by example. It means pushing yourself and expecting those around you to provide the same level of effort. Often when we raise our bar, those around us raise theirs as well.
Own Your Position.
No matter what position or role you find yourself in, be the best at that position or role you can be. Embrace whatever challenges the game throws your way, be it physical, mental or emotional. Sometimes you may be on the field; other times, maybe not. Wherever you find yourself, own it and make it yours.