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Want to find out how to be the perfect teammate, a player who leads by example and inspires others to go the extra mile? Then stay right here.
Before the finals of the Gambardella Cup, my coach said about me: "A very good club player. The one we can always count on. A versatile player." Ultimately a compliment, but I was far from being the best player - on the other hand, I was a good teammate.
The most important thing when you walk out on to the pitch is to enjoy it, have fun with your friends and to give your all to win the game, if possible. It doesn't matter if you start the match or not. Your time will come. You need to be ready to achieve these goals.
And if you're going to achieve them, you also need to keep your standards high right the way through the season. That means arriving on time, listening to your coach and following their instructions, warming up, being committed, playing the game fairly, and, above all, not taking it out on a teammate if they lose the ball, never giving up and not shrugging your shoulders if you lose the ball. What you do is go and win it back again. You can't leave anything to chance if you want to play your role in the team.~
Who's never given the ball away in their career? Not me!~
If you're not convinced you're going to have a good game, here's a piece of advice: stay at home!
A coach has to make choices and pick what they think is the best side to go out and win on a Sunday. If you're on the bench, it's down to you to go and show in training and in whatever game time you do get that you deserve your place in the starting XI. You stay the same and you're an example on and off the pitch, both in the way you think and the way you behave.
This shouldn't be a source of tension between players either. There's no point in teammates being at odds with each other when they all want to do the same thing, which is get out there and play.~
Being versatile can be an advantage, but it also has its downside. Getting a lot of game time, but not playing in your favoured position? When all's said and done, it's no big deal. You're playing and you're helping your team out. You're not the star. You're reliable and professional. The coach and your teammates know they can depend on you.
When it comes to training you work hard, you try to develop your game and you show respect to both your teammates and your opponents. That means no teasing your teammates and no breaking their legs just to get your place back in the team.~
You're a loyal player and the thought of doing something like that never crossed your mind.
A good teammate watches and listens and helps bring the team together. They never abandon a player in trouble. You're the link between everyone. You knit the team together.~
It doesn't matter where you play. You always say the right thing to encourage your teammates and get them to lift their heads. ~
Sticking together as a team is very important.~
It goes without saying that you're the one who gets everyone going on the team bus or in the dressing room and you know what makes everyone tick.
A good teammate is not necessarily the best player in the team or the captain. Anyone can be a good teammate for lots of different reasons.
Don't be afraid to share your experiences with the players on your team, especially the younger ones, who need the older players to guide them, even if they wouldn't dare ask for help.