Are You a Kick Ass Team Player?

WTF!I’ve always been a competitive person and team sports seem to be in my DNA.  From multiple championships in softball growing up, to a National title in pool with Kiss of Death & championships at Amsterdam & the APA, I really enjoy the many moments of team camaraderie that have colored my life. 

poolsynergy4With these experiences, I’ve gotten a good feel for what makes someone a good teammate.  As Vegas begins to dance on all our pool player tongues, many teams will be forming in preparation for the BCAPL Championships in May.

I’ve decided to give my best shot at the Top 10 Qualities for a Kick Ass Teammate in hopes that it’ll help you put together your winning team.  These are in my order of importance.   

getting to the finals 10. COMMITMENT – If a player doesn’t show up for practice, is late, talks crap about the team behind their back, or feels their individual goals are more important than the team’s goals, get rid of them.  Players that are fully committed to the team, heart, mind, body and soul.  These are winners and real assets.

9. FUN – People that like to have fun, laugh & enjoy themselves.  These people will make the down time awesome and the stressful times a bit more tolerable.  The power of comic relief is something few give enough credit for.

og pool school 8. SUPPORTIVE – There’s a reason for the Dallas Cheerleaders, the Laker Girls, the Wave, Vuvuzelas (look it up,) war paint & Applause.  Cheering can be that extra little push needed to stay focused and pop in that winning 8-ball.  Be a good cheerleader!  Give hugs, high fives, pats on the back when they almost won, and positive reinforcement that it’ll be better next time.  Support your teammates. 

7. RELENTLESS – A player that never surrenders can be tough to manage, but they also make great competitors.  When the chips are down, they are the players screaming, “Don’t give up, it’s not over yet!" They are also the ones feared the most by your opponents because they just don’t QUIT! When they’re on the ropes is when they are most dangerous. 

number 16. CAPTAIN– This person is the role model of the team.  They must be someone the team believes in & looks to for guidance.  They are the team’s glue.  It is NOT required that this player be the most skilled on the team.  This player just must be capable of putting their own emotions aside and doing what is right for the team as a whole.  An inspirational “Pep Talker” is a bonus.    

5. SKILL – Yes, talent did make my list.  If you want to win, you do have to have players that have the goods.  But note, it isn’t Number 1 on my list.  Almost every team I’ve won a title with, in truth I didn’t think we had the strongest “skill” team.  We just had more of #1-4 below. 

softball4. R-E-S-P-E-C-T – Caring for other teammate’s feelings and emotions is vital to the team remaining a unified unit.  This is even more difficult when the match isn’t going your way.  Be leery of a teammate who bad mouths another teammate when the chips are down.  Never slam a teammate in public or out of spite.  When someone has a bad day, put yourself in their shoes and remember your bad days.  They suck right?  Don’t make it worse for them.  Think of ways to make them feel better, stronger and encouraged.  Be there for one another and respect each other’s highs & lows.  You never know when you’ll need that same respect in return later.

wtf3. SELFLESSNESS – You must be in it for the team, not yourself. If a player is only worried about themselves, when THEY get to play, when THEY made a ball, where THEY are in the line, get rid of them.  They’re a plague for your team.  Get rid of them.  Let them win the singles event since they are so important!  I have no patience for these people.  Goodbye. 

2. CAMARADERIE –  Love your team.  Enjoy the glories & the losses together.  It’s cliché but there is no ‘I’ in team.  Follow that rule whole-heartedly.  The wins are so much sweeter when they are team wins.  Looking at your fellow teammate with gratitude AND returned gratitude is one of the coolest, most rewarding moments in a team’s memory bank.  Seek out team camaraderie!

APACityFinals2008---121# 1. HEART My numero UNO!  The one quality I see so many failing teams are missing. Players have come & gone from my various teams.  My favorite players are the ones that lay their heart on the line. You have to be willing to sacrifice your sanity to win.  You have to put yourself on the edge of the cliff, look down and feel solid & steady.  Players that play the game in their guts, those are the best.  Those are your money players.  Those guys win you championships.

And now, I’ve also put together my Top TEN Team Inspirational Movies.  Watch these movies with your teammates to feel all oooie & gooie inside.  They are in NO particular order. 

g2’s Top TEN Inspiration Movies for TEAMS

1. Remember the Titans:  Left side! Strong Side! Left side! Strong Side! Left side! Strong Side!” 

2. 300: “This is where we hold them! This is where we fight! This is where they die!”

3. League of their Own (preferably for girl teams): “It’s supposed to be hard! If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard… is what makes it great!”

4. Gladiator: “Whatever comes out of these gates, we’ve got a better chance of survival if we work together. Do you understand? If we stay together, we survive.”

5. Major League: for laughs!  “Wild Thing. You make my heart sing. You walk everything.”

6. The Express:Winning this one means nothing if you lose yourselves. Don’t you let anyone steal history away from you.

7. Cool Runnings: “I see PRIDE, I see POWER, I see a bad-ass mother who won’t take no CRAP off of NOBODY!”

8. Hoosiers: “Five players on the floor functioning as one single unit: team, team, team – no one more important than the other.”

9. Rocky – 1-4: “Eye of the Tiger!”

10.  Rudy – recommended by our PoolSynergy Host Gary!

For more information on Team Play & Team Dynamic, visit this month’s PoolSynergy Host Gary Frerking’s site to hear our PoolSynergy columnist’s take on the topic!  Enjoy!    poolsynergy4

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~ by g2 on January 13, 2011.

8 Responses to “Are You a Kick Ass Team Player?”

  1. Well Gail, you really nailed the top 10 in both, ” Top 10 Qualities for a Kick Ass Teammate” and “Top TEN Team Inspiration Movies for Teams”!!!! You are wise beyond your years. Thanks so much for all you do as a Competitor, but mostly, as a Loving & Caring Individual.

    Dale

    P.S. I have watched every one of those movies and cried many tears through them all 🙂

  2. As always, another beautiful post! See you in a couple months.

  3. Excellent GG! Well done.

  4. I’m the poster child for #9…FUN!! You probably find that hard to believe, as nervous as I always was watching KOD’s matches.. but, that’s because I wasn’t playing!! At my Thursday night team league, “comic relief” is my middle name! (I even crack up our opponents..) Loved your articles, keep up the good work! ~nancy~

  5. what r all these things in ur post? ive never seen them before…r those…capital letters?!

    *shrieks*

    – the eagle

    (ima time saver smassy! btw great post…i love hoosiers!)

  6. Outstanding post. You really put a lot into your writing and it pays big dividends. I loved most of those movies and have 2 new ones to add to my list.

  7. Great lists Gail! You could summarize my entire entry with your points 4 and 8. LOL

  8. Thats my Captain ! Proud of you Gail! I have learn something new from this great post too :O) OG >>>GG>>>pow pow

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