How to be a good sports team player

Being part of a team is about more than exercise. It’s a social activity where competition can keep you motivated and where you learn important social skills. Team sports teach you important ways to work well with others in a strategic and cooperative way, which can be a plus point for working relationships too. To make the most out of being a good team player you need to make sure you’re following good sportsmanship style etiquette.

Each sport, game and activity has its own set of rules and often there are unwritten codes of behavior which players learn as they get involved with others on the same and other teams. It’s not just a matter of being polite for the sake of it. Playing ball when it comes to team etiquette makes the experience more enjoyable for all involved.

Question decisions politely
We’ve seen world-class athletes lose their heads in the heat of the moment, and penalized for it. When it comes to challenging authority, take a step back from the game and remember that whether you agree or not umpires and referees demand respect. Whilst there’s nothing wrong with taking the game seriously remember why you’re doing this activity in the first place.

Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?
When tensions are running high and the adrenalin is pumping it’s easy to lose control of your tongue and start swearing like a hockey coach. Swearing can add an aggressive rather than competitive edge to a game and when you are playing with people from all walks of life you have to accept that not everyone, spectators included, might feel happy about a foul mouthed teammate.

Don’t be a poor loser
If you perform badly and let yourself and your team down down, or lose, then accept defeat with grace. This does not mean throwing your toys out the stroller, or trying to find somebody to pin the blame on apart from yourself. Instead, congratulate the other team on their win and learn from your mistakes.

Acknowledge dropouts
During competitions make a point of acknowledging fellow team players who have had to drop  out because of injury or for some other reason. This doesn’t have to be some grand gesture, a simple clap or visible sign might be enough. They might be out of the game but they are still part of the bigger picture.

Interrupted play
Retrieving a ball from an area where other teams or individuals are playing a sport has to be done in the right way. Wait for a moment when you are not going to interrupt and be courteous. Patience is part of team sports too. If opponents or other players are taking shots or are focusing then don’t distract them. There’s nothing worse than trying to concentrate whilst other players are making noise or unnecessarily moving around.

Give space
Often you might have to wait your turn whilst other teammates talk about their ideas about the game. You might not agree and think your strategy is the best but giving other people time and space helps build relationships and create positive team spirit. If players are injured or need a moment to collect their thoughts remember not to crowd in and invade their space.

A positive attitude and respect for fellow players, as well as the rules of the game, still allows you to show your individual talents in a sport, with the added bonus that you will enjoy the experience so much more. After all team sports are supposed to be fun and enjoyable and by being a good team player you can set a good example.

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