By: Farone Eckstein, Principal of Trinityhouse High Randpark Ridge
A team player is constantly reliable day in and day out, not just some of the time. You can count on them to get the job done, meet deadlines, keep their word and provide consistent quality work.
Learning to work in a team is undoubtedly one of the most important skills that one can learn and has been identified as a crucial component of 21st century learning. As a result, many schools and curricula have placed a renewed emphasis on group-work and collaboration to equip students with these vital skills.
The elements of being a team player are varied and great in number. The trust factor is undeniably at the heart of all things related to teamwork. Having the faith to delegate tasks and allowing individuals the freedom to make decisions requires a great degree of trust. It boils down to putting your fate and that of the team’s in the hands of others.
Other vital components include commitment to the team-goal, selflessness and an ability to compromise. Ultimately, it is about putting the group ahead of yourself.
Consequently, it remains my firm belief that the sports field remains one of the most effective “classrooms” in terms of learning to be a team player. Having to cope with the teams expectations and being responsible for motivating your teammates while having to cope with your own inner doubts are daunting at the best of times. These demands are often magnified by the fact that the sporting contest often takes place in the public arena thereby increasing the fear of failure. Unsurprisingly many of our strongest and most character building memories revolve around these sporting moments be they making the last-ditch tackle to stop a try, scoring the winning goal or consoling a teammate after their mistake cost the team. These moments often have an impact on our self-confidence and character long after the occasion has passed and often serve to inspire us to even greater things.
It is undeniable that being part of a team does leave one vulnerable as it takes the individual out of their comfort zone. This aspect makes teamwork both challenging and rewarding. To celebrate an achievement brought about by a united effort remains one of the greatest sensations and allows us a bonding experience with our fellow people that is irreplaceable.
It remains my firm belief that teamwork remains one of humanity’s greatest assets and its unlimited potential will undoubtedly be vital in overcoming our political, economic and social challenges that currently beset our world.