There is a high chance that you'll be fighting for playing time at some point in your career. In college, every athlete was the best at their high school, and everyone is capable of doing great things, but now, it's time to prove why you're the best at the collegiate level. It can be painful when you fall short of the spot or position you're aiming to get. With that said, you still have to find a way to be a good teammate, which can be challenging as you navigate grieving the spot that you lost.
This episode of The Panel focuses on how teammates are expected to navigate competitive environments and be supportive no matter if the situations they find themselves in are working in their favor or not. When you're fighting for a spot, it can often feel like you're pinned against your teammates, and you are. But it can be hard not to take that personally and come back together as a supportive unit once positions and lineups are decided.
Teammates inability to do so can cause inner turmoil within a team and can speak to the lack of maturity of players. Ultimately, every teammate must learn to be a supportive teammate no matter if things are going well for them or not.
In addition to fighting for playing time and being a good teammate, we also discuss leadership and what it takes to be a good one. Leadership plays a major role in determining the performance of any team, and good leadership is more complex than people think. It's servanthood. It's leading by example; it's beign vocal. But most of all, good leadership does not always come from the best play. Leaders come in many shapes and sizes and with varying abilities.
1. How To Navigate Losing Your Spot
Sometimes it happens. Sometimes you lose your spot, or you get taken out of the line-up, and it can be a hard thing to come to terms with. Sometimes you know why this happened, and sometimes you don't, but if you are the least bit competitive, it's a tough pill to swallow either way. With that said, you have to find ways to still be a good teammate and an asset to your team. It can be challenging, but if you're only positive when things are going your way, chances are you'll be negative more than 50 percent of the time. Find a few outlets, chat with your coaches, and do what you can to get that spot back, but at the end of the day, your team should not have to suffer at the hands of your poor attitude just because you're not getting what you want. It's tough love advice, but it's true.
2. Leadership Comes In Many Forms
It's easy to get the idea that leaders look a certain way. That they're the best player or the most vocal, but that's not true. Leaders come in many forms. They can lead from the bench, not be as vocal, or overall be unassuming, but one thing is true, real leaders are servants. They're advocates. And authentic leadership is not a glamorous job but requires selflessness.
"How you performed in practice was like crucial, hence my anxiety before practice." - Cassidy Barnard
"To me, it felt like I had no control over my situation. No matter how good I did in practice, there still gonna be that girl that started because she was picked at the beginning of the season." - Cassidy Barnard
"Sometimes the leader isn’t who you want it to be or who you think it is, it’s like, it’s gonna become very evident who that person is…" - Sydney Umeri
"Sometimes you want your “best player” to be your leader but they’re just not." - Sydney Umeri
"You can’t communicate with people the same way. And I think that that’s a huge part of the leading journey that people have to come to." - Shanteona Keys