By Ethan Guevin
When you are on a team with 34 other guys you don’t know, you are bound to come across personalities that clash with each other. Realistically, you should expect to have teammates who you have a tough time getting along with. While you don’t need to have 34 best friends, you do need to find a way to get along with your teammates and keep the team chemistry strong. Strong team chemistry can keep your team winning even against teams that look better than yours on paper. The following suggestions can help you deal with challenging personalities on the team:
- Be a good teammate. Lead by example. This should always be your number one priority.
- Be tolerant and accepting of teammates who are different than you.
- When someone confronts you or calls you out for something, don’t interrupt him. Listen to what he is saying and let him finish. Even if he doesn’t play a significant on-field role, he may be right and if that is the case, his role doesn’t matter and you should listen to him. If you disagree with what he is saying or he is wrong, let him say what he has to say then, let it go. Don’t let any minor disagreement become a big deal.
- If you are the one who has problems with another player, address them with that player face-to-face. Avoid bringing other players into it and creating a situation where the team is divided.
- Find ways to get to know teammates better. Misunderstandings happen more often when people don’t know each other. Get together away from the field as a team and see if you can get along better under different circumstances.
- Focus on what you have in common. It is easy to harp on differences or annoyances, but harping just creates “otherness” rather than “togetherness.” Get everyone pulling in the same direction. That’s how you win games; that’s how you build a team.