In college, you’ll be on a team with a few dozen other guys you don’t know. Everyone will come from a different school and a different background and odds are you will come across challenging personalities that clash. Realistically, you should expect to have teammates who you wouldn’t choose to hang out with otherwise, and even some you have a tough time getting along with. While you don’t need to be best friends with everyone on your team, 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. We’ve put together the following suggestions to help you deal with challenging personalities on your team and keep the focus on winning games.
- 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, let him say what he has to say, then let it go. Don’t let any minor disagreement become a big problem just because of ego. Good teams squash or let go of petty disagreements and move forward.
- If you are the one who has problems with another player with a challenging personality, address them with that player face-to-face and in a way they are more likely to receive well. 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.
- Understand that everyone has a different role on the team and having some different opinions or characters can be a good thing.
- 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.