What can you do?

What can you do for the team?

John F. Kennedy said it best when he said, “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you, ask what you can do for your country”. The same thing applies to sports, the question isn’t what your team can do for you, but rather what can you do for your team? What unique qualities do you bring to the team? Why are you on the team? What is your roll on the team?

It doesn’t matter if it is practice or a game, when you step foot on the field you should know exactly what your roll is. Whether you are a starter or a sub you are on the team for a reason.

The backup goalie on a team might never start a single game, but they serve several purposes. First and foremost, the backup goalie helps prepare train the starter, they make sure the starter is always on point. The backup has to be more prepared than anyone else on the team. If the starter gets injured in a game or ejected the backup has to be ready at a moment notice to step in and play without warming up. They also serve to push the starter to be better. The harder the backup works in practice the harder the starter has to work to keep their starting roll. The backup goalie might never get the praise, attention or glory that the starter gets, but their roll on the team is equally important if not more so. The backup has to keep the starter honest and motivated in practice. They have to challenge the starter. They have to push the starter. And they have to be ready at a moment’s notice to jump into a game cold with no warm-up in the event that something was to happen to the starter.

Know your purpose, understand your roll, and step up. The question isn’t what does the team owe you, it is in fact what do you owe the team? What can you do to make the team better?

Everyone on the team brings something with them. Everyone has a reason for being here. Why are you on the team? What is your purpose?

Every time you show up to play, whether it’s a game or practice, always ask yourself what am I bringing to this team? What is my objective today? What can I do for the team that no one else can do?

Take your time and think about these questions. Be brutally honest with yourself. Everybody has a roll, everybody plays a part. As Shakespeare said, “All the worlds a stage and all the men and women merely players.” You are a player, your stage is the field, once you know your roll everything else will fall into place. The game will start to make more sense, everything will become easier and the game will become more fun.