As we kick off the fall sports season, student-athletes should focus on several key practices that will lay the groundwork for becoming good collaborators and reliable teammates.
Collaboration is a major part of life—bigger than you might realize. Whether you are the CEO of Doritos, working with a team on a Super Bowl commercial, on a panel of doctors examining a CT scan to determine a diagnosis, or a producer conveying important information to journalists in the field, most things in life involve collaboration. It takes years to develop these skills but one of the ways many of us start is by playing sports.
As we kick off the fall sports season, student-athletes should focus on several key practices that will lay the groundwork for becoming good collaborators and reliable teammates. This includes demonstrating good sportsmanship, supporting teammates, and being responsible representatives of The Field School. To achieve this, we help guide our student-athletes to be responsible for their actions and words, to develop organized time-management skills, and build resilience. If every student-athlete demonstrates these skills, on and off the field court, we are confident they will achieve success in every aspect of life.
Accountability is represented in many different ways when you are part of a sport. Showing up to practice on time and with the proper equipment, being supportive, encouraging others, and respecting the coaches, players, and opponents is a solid start to being an accountable athlete and teammate. Not only do student-athletes have to work on their own performances, they must also consider the performance of the team and the team's goals. Athletes are accountable for their actions and holding teammates accountable. Developing these skills inspires students to be thoughtful and considerate when making daily life choices.
Student-athletes are often tasked with balancing academics, sports, social life, part-time jobs, and their own personal growth. As students get older, they acquire more responsibilities and may feel like they don’t have enough time to complete every task. This can be overwhelming, but learning how to take care of your mental and physical health, while managing multiple responsibilities, allows students to feel confident in taking on any challenge.
We all face adversity throughout our lives. While we are not immune to running into adverse situations, we can prepare ourselves to handle these difficult situations in a more positive and purposeful way. Student-athletes will continuously face,and learn to overcome, obstacles. Perhaps a student does not get placed on the varsity team or they come across a teammate or opponent who seems stronger and more skilled. Athletes often question themselves. However, building resilience comes from understanding that all athletes experience failure and uncertainty. Being a part of a team provides athletes with peers who have experienced the same adverse situations. They understand and will support each other. And that goes a long way in developing resilience.
As we head into this new season of competition, let's remember that we only develop our skills if we care for each other and work as a team to accomplish our goals. I can't wait to see what we accomplish. Let's go, Falcons!
"Individual commitment to a group effort--that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work." ~Vince Lombardi