6 key aspects of being a great teammate

Being a Great Teammate is a Learned Skill

Being part of a team can be an amazing experience. It allows individuals to join together, pool their unique talents, and work towards a common goal. However, being a great teammate goes beyond mere participation; it involves actively contributing to the team’s success, fostering a positive mindset, and supporting teammates. Contrary to popular belief, being a great teammate is not solely dependent on natural talent and ability, it can be learned and developed.

Being a team player while pursuing shared goals is a necessity to being successful in sport and in life.

While natural talent and ability can certainly help, the most important factor in being a great teammate is a willingness to work hard and put the team’s needs above your own. This means showing up to practice on time, putting in extra effort to improve your skills, and supporting your teammates both on and off the field. It also means being open to feedback and willing to make adjustments for the good of the team. A great teammate is someone who is reliable, trustworthy, and always willing to help. They are positive and encouraging, even in difficult situations, and are always looking for ways to contribute to the team’s success. The best teammates are the ones who can recognize and understand what is most beneficial to each of their teammates individually and the team as a whole.

As sports parents and coaches, we are responsible for guiding our kids and our players through skill development and being a great teammate should be at the top of all of our list.

Lets look at some key aspects of being a great teammate and how you can develop this invaluable skillset.

1. Effective Communication:

Communication forms the foundation of any successful team. A great team player understands the significance of clear and concise communication. They actively listen to others, express their thoughts and ideas articulately, and provide constructive feedback. Learning effective communication techniques, such as active listening, non-verbal cues, and empathy, allows individuals to foster stronger relationships and avoid misunderstandings within the team.

2. Selflessness and Empathy:

Being a great teammate means prioritizing the collective success of the team over personal glory. It involves cultivating selflessness and empathy and understanding that the achievements of one contribute to the success of all. Great teammates offer support and encouragement to their fellow members, celebrate their successes, and provide a helping hand when needed.

Developing these qualities requires individuals to step outside their own ambitions and embrace the idea of collective achievement.

3. Accountability and Reliability:

Reliability and accountability are vital traits of a great teammate. They understand the importance of fulfilling commitments and meeting deadlines. By consistently delivering on promises, they gain the trust and respect of their teammates. Being reliable also means taking responsibility for one’s actions and learning from mistakes. This mindset fosters a culture of trust within the team, enabling everyone to perform at their best.

4. Adaptability and Flexibility:

Teams often face unexpected challenges and dynamic situations. A great teammate embraces adaptability and flexibility, remaining open to change and new ideas. They understand that individual preferences and approaches may need to be adjusted to better serve the team’s needs. By embracing this mindset, individuals can contribute positively to problem-solving, adapt to evolving circumstances, and support their teammates in times of change.

5. Continuous Learning and Growth Mindset:

Being a great teammate is an ongoing process of growth and improvement. A growth mindset involves a hunger for learning, accepting feedback, and seeking opportunities for self-improvement. Great teammates understand that no one is perfect and that they can always enhance their skills, knowledge, and understanding. By embracing a growth mindset, individuals contribute to a culture of continuous learning within the team.

6. Accepting individual uniqueness:

Each team member possesses a unique background, skills, and approach. Accepting individual uniqueness is a fundamental component of being a great teammate. By embracing diversity, leveraging strengths, encouraging expression, building on differences, and supporting personal growth, team members create an environment that fosters innovation, collaboration, and mutual respect. Great teammates understand the importance of embracing diversity and recognizing the value that each other. When each member feels valued for their unique contributions, the team as a whole can reach new heights of success.

When you can celebrate and embrace the individual uniqueness within your team, it can be the catalyst for extraordinary performance.

Being a great teammate is not an innate ability but rather a skill that can be developed over time. It requires a commitment to effective communication, selflessness, accountability, adaptability, and continuous learning. By consciously cultivating these qualities, individuals can become invaluable contributors to their teams, fostering an environment of collaboration, trust, and shared success. So, let us embrace the journey of becoming a great teammate, and together, we can unlock the power of our team.


Article compiled by Bennie Louw
Life and Executive Coach, Speaker, High Performance Team Developer and Sport Mind Coach.

Training Your Mind for Sports Performance – Providing individual and group training for coaches, managers, parents, high level performers and keen amateurs who wish to learn the techniques to improve their mental approach to sport.

Click here to Contact Bennie