Being a team player isn’t just important while on the athletic field, it is critical while working on group projects, participating in choirs or other extra-curricular activities and even while planning and carrying out events. A team player is someone who respects other individuals, is willing to put forth his best effort, asks for help when needed and is dependable and responsible. Teaching your child how to be a team player is critical because it is something that will help him throughout his schooling, career and even his marriage.
Here are five ways you can teach your child how to be a team player.
1. Teach respect.
Being a team player means being respectful to other individuals. Start while your children are young by teaching them the importance of listening to others, especially those with authority. Help them understand the way they present themselves and behave is a way they respect others. If a child shows up late to practice, without his gear and without any remorse, he is showing a lack of respect to his coach and teammates. Respect is something that once it is lost, it is hard to get back.
2. Provide opportunities.
Your children will not learn how to be a team player unless they are given opportunities to become one. If your child shows an interest in sports, find a team sport she can participate in. If he loves singing, find a youth choir he might be willing to join. If your child loves to plan, lead and organize, find a youth group such as the youth city council. These organizations allow children to work in groups to plan service projects, city events and more. By giving your children opportunities to work with others, they will have the chance to learn what it means to be a team player.
3. Model the right behavior.
Your children learn from your example. At home, be careful what you say in front of your children. Don’t encourage a child to degrade other team members or cheat to win. Take these moments to teach him the importance of being on a team and being a valuable player. Also, be careful of your behavior at your child’s sporting events or other extra-curricular activities. If you can’t control your temper or you don’t show respect to others involved, your child will likely display that same sort of behavior.
4. Follow the rules.
A team player is someone who follows the rules both on and off of the court. Encourage your child to do what the coach tells him and to attend all meetings or practices. When a team member follows the rules, he is dependable and trustworthy. He is someone who the coaches and team members can look to and never worry about.
5. Accept criticism.
Sometimes being on a team can be tough. There may be other participants who are better than your child and your child may have a difficult time coping. Help your child accept criticism from coaches, players and even yourself. Help her understand that criticism is a way to make her better. And when we accept it, it shows that we value the opinions of others and we want to do all we can to become the best we can be.
Being a team player is a trait that can affect a person’s entire life. It is important that you teach your children while they are young to be a team player and someone everyone can rely upon.
Courtnie Erickson is a Utah State University graduate and a technology guru.