Characteristics of a Great Teammate #3: Great teammates celebrate the successes of others.

#3:  Great teammates celebrate the successes of others.

        Great teammates celebrate the successes of others.  They enjoy other players on the team doing well.  Although this seems simple enough, the reality is it doesn't always happen.  Success can often breed jealousy.  You can't watch a movie about sports without the guaranteed story line of the "jealous teammate."  Unfortunately, in this case real life can often mirror the big screen.  Teammates can be envious of other players for different reasons.  Maybe the player is rarely on the wrong end of a tongue-lashing by the coaches.  What the jealous teammate fails to realize is there is a reason for this, and it is because of the behavior of the player.  Jealous teammate fails to realize that by following the example of the other player he too can avoid such tongue-lashings.  Jealous teammate may give the player a hard time about it instead and make it seem like doing the right thing is somehow wrong.  Flawed logic at best, sorry teammate at worst.  Another situation where jealousy can happen is when there is a younger, talented player on the team.  Usually there are older players on the team whose thinking plays something like, "I'm a senior.  I should play."  When the younger, more talented player is the one in the lineup instead, jealousy happens.  Ration and reason somehow fail to get through to the older player whose only argument is, "I'm a senior.  I should play."  This may partially be a byproduct of he travel team world we live in where players are split into such narrowly aged groups (16U, 17U, 17U Black, 17U White, 17U Purple).  Entitlement is the word that comes to mind, and unfortunately for the jealous players, there is no place for it in team sports.

        Those are a couple of examples of teammates not enjoying the successes of others, but great teammates truly enjoy those same successes.  Great teammates celebrate having the guys who they can depend on because they are always doing the right thing.  Great teammates welcome that younger, talented player as part of the group because they realize the player makes the team better.  They go out of their way to accept him and make him feel as though he belongs.  Great teammates pick up guys who get a bunt down or score a run.  So much can be learned about a player based on how they react within a game to the successes of other players on the team.  One of my randomly favorite occurrences is when a player who rarely plays get a chance to pitch or hit.  This often occurs when the game has been most likely already decided.  Great teammates realize how the player has worked just as hard as everyone else and is an important part of the team.  Great teammates cheer on the player with the same focus and energy, if not more, than every other player who has already hit or pitched.  A hidden message you can get from this situation is what type of teammate the player getting the opportunity is.  If the player is a positive member of the team, then the team will usually be behind him.  If the player is a negative influence on the team, then teammates will usually react accordingly as well.

        Great teammates celebrate the successes of others.  They have a team-first attitude that understands the importance of teammates doing well.  Next time any of the situations above happen, I challenge you to observe how people respond.  You can learn a lot by doing so.  If you are a player, then challenge yourself to be a great teammate by celebrating the successes of others.   Celebrating is fun.  Don't you want to do it more often?  Simple math will tell you that by thinking about others you will be celebrating a lot more than if you just think about yourself.


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