It is important for the mood in a team to be positive at all times and each player is equally responsible for the mood on court. So what kind of a player are you? The morale booster or killer? Below are a few traits that fall into the two categories. If the shoe fits…
The Highly Energetic
This might not always be among the most talented players on the team but is the team mate we all love to have. Mostly loud, extremely motivated and quite intimidating to the opponents. Expends intense energy during play, always hustling, and is pretty irritating both in terms of their relentless defense and occasional trash talk. While such all-out effort compensates for mediocrity elsewhere, we do not care because this energy is infectious and theirs boosts the team morale.
Yet another morale booster. This one makes sure you are not jogging when you should be running, makes sure you do not slack off at any given time. They give constructive criticism and stay positive no matter how tough the game is. When a teammate has been chewed out by the coach for a mistake they understand that piling on wont help and are quick to neutralize the tension.
These ones are ready to die for their team mates. They have an unconditional willingness to put the team before individual needs. They are not concerned with the typical questions that burn in the brains of the vast majority of players. What’s in it for me? Will I start? How much play time do I get? Will I get all the attention that I deserve? Instead, they naturally put themselves last and focus on making those around them better. They do not care about scoring 40 points in a losing effort but making the team look good and would sacrifice individual accolades for the team to win.
The Morale Killers
The ‘too busy to train’
Normally, there are two main excuses for not training. The most common is the busy narrative. Too busy faking injury, illness and excuses. No one is ever that busy. No one is ever too busy to dedicate an hour or two to skill development or fitness training. The others believe that their particular training sessions are useless and in no way capable of improving their skill level. That they gain absolutely nothing from these sessions and would rather not waste their precious time. When you join a team, you make a commitment which you need to honor just like you do your job, friends, investment groups etc. Even as a highly skilled player, when you finally begin to see the importance of helping your team mates lift the level of their games, then and only then will there be significant positive change in the team’s prowess.
The ‘Super Star’ Mentality
Just because they have an extraordinary athletic ability, they tend to be selfish, narcissistic and believe the team is secondary to and should revolve around them. Rules of the team does not apply to them and instead, they should have their own set of rules that are sprinkled with a heavy dose of preferential treatment. Mostly not good listeners, tend to be late for team commitments and generally spread a lot of negative energy. They are not emotionally invested in whether the team wins or loses. In their absence the game is easier, more fun and maybe more effective.They siphon your energy, test your patience and make you question your abilities.
They put no extra effort. Occasionally an average player that does not try hard enough to maintain themselves in the team. Mostly holds right back into the comfort zone. They perform consistently below their potential and actual talent.
Whoever you are, you owe it to your team to find ways to rise above your feelings and/or ego and and find a way to positively work with them.
The writer is a player in the Kenya Basketball Premier League. If you want to blog for us send an email to email@example.com.