Let’s be honest, no one wants to be a sub. No one joins a team thinking to themselves that all they want to do is sit and watch the game. But here’s the thing, being a sub might could be even more important than being a starter. Allow me to explain.

First of all, as a sub you are expected to be supportive of your team and teammates. You need to be focused on the entire game regardless of whether or not you see playing time. Be there to celebrate the ups and cheer them on during the down moments. Show the team that you are just as invested in the game as those playing and it will help encourage all those on the field.

Second, you need to be ready to go at a moment’s notice. During the course of a match anything can happen. A player can get injured or sick and need to be subbed off. It will fall on you to get up and be ready to go without much of a warmup. You are going to be expected to be ready to fill the role of the starter without being prepared. There is also always the chance that over the course of the game your coach will want to shake things up and will call on you to jump in and add life or change the flow of the game. Again, the team is counting on your to come into a cold and make an immediate impact.

Third, after the game it is up to you to help push your teammates to get better. You watched the game from the side, you had a different perspective of what was going on. Your teammates are going to count on you to provide them some feedback as to what you saw and what could be done differently. It also can’t hurt that since you already know what is going on you can work harder yourself in an attempt to steal one of those starting roles. Which in turn would push the starters to work harder themselves to keep their starting role.

The role of a sub is not one of glamour and fame, but it can very well be the deciding factor between a win and a loss. The more you embrace your role, pay attention to the game and the harder you work the better off the team will be as a whole.