Mind Over Sport with Coach Nye..
It is said that in team sports there is no ‘me’ but only ‘we’ of a team that will win you championships. I kind of have to believe that, wouldn’t you?
What is a team? The definition that I have seen most is this, ‘A group of animals hitched together pulling in a common direction toward a common goal, no know, like a dog team or team of horses.’ If one animal falls out of line then it means the rest of the team of animals must pull harder.
When it comes to teams and the players that make up the team there is know better feeling of having a guy or gal who is watching your back.
In sport and especially team sports there will always be a bond made towards your teammates as the season or seasons move on. It a very special bond, which I call brotherhood. In team sports it is a must that the ‘we’ must be greater then the ‘me’ or realistically the team will not succeed.
It’s where you as a player must surrender your own egos and individuality for the team’s good. That is what a good teammate does.
As we know it is very hard for one elite athlete to be the center of focus on a team and try to win it all. It takes more then one player and in fact it takes more then two, it has to be all, the whole of one, to be successful.
But that also means the best player must have the knowledge behind him/her and realize it is their job per say to make the others surrounding him/her even better. As the great coach Phil Jackson had said about Michael Jordan in his book Scared Hoops–‘Jackson mused that the Bulls became a Championship team when Michael realized that the great player is the one who makes the players around him better’
Another great coach, the legendary Vince Lombardi, was once asked what he thought were keys to a winning team? I read them over and over many times and have replaced his words with what I felt related to the game of hockey-so have a look.
- Players have to know their jobs. In hockey that means the players know what to do on the ice. They know the system, the game plan, their role and their ABC’s.
- The ‘we’ is bigger than the ‘me’. Hockey is the ultimate team game. To win, players have to be willing to commit to serving the team and executing the team’s game plan as opposed to their own agenda.
- Players must love one another.
Number 3 always caught the players and they raised their eyebrows at me many times. So I explained to them, you don’t have like each other all the time. But you need to have respect for each other all the time. You need to stand up for each other and maintain a standard of play that reflected that respect.
Speaking from a players stand point on being a great teammate there is no other then Mark Messier. Who besides being a great teammate but also one of the most powerful leaders on the ice and off. He is also stated in saying, ‘ Experience and the feeling of strong leadership on a team will create a positive and confident team. On teams without as much talent and experience as those teams, a certain belief in the team comes about by working hard together.’
So how can you be a great teammate like the great Mark Messier. Well start by following this list and making sure your teammates have a copy as well!
- Know your job. If your aren’t clear then ask the coaches.
- Communicate- Have a clear and positive focus about what you want to do on the ice.
- Be Committed to Team Play.
- Improve your conditioning and off-ice living.
- Be consistent, be prepared
- Have the best Attitude ever.
- Create the right feelings.
And remember what this great athlete once said as well, ‘I think there’s a lot to be learned from your teammates and older guys around you. And there are many ways to lead. You don’t have to change your personality to be a leader. Andrew Luck–Indianapolis Colts
Until next time.
About the Author
With years of experience in sports and business – from sweeping the floors when starting off in business, to coaching a very successful National Championship hockey team and then managing other hockey teams along the way – the Coach has seen it all!
Coach Nye is the founder and CEO of Mind Over Sport (www.CoachingMindOverSport.com), a world wide leader in effective mental fitness/toughness training, leadership, stress management training and life coaching. Since being involved in the sport of hockey, Coach Nye has trained numerous players to the professional level and continues to this day to connect with them and many others to help them through different stages in their playing careers. Coach Nye has created his own weekly podcast show, Mind Over Sport Podcast Show with Coach Nye with over thousands of followers and listeners. While also working with great organizations such as Womens Hockey Life, The Coaches Site, My Pro Hero, Weiss Tech Hockey Magazine and Changing the Game Project. He currently resides in Lucan, Ontario Canada.
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