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Want to find out how to be the perfect team-mate, 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 team-mate.
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 just need to be ready to achieve your goals.
To make that happen you have to show the right attitude all season long. 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 team-mate 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 misplaced a pass in their career? Not me! So if you don't have the head for playing a good game, here's some advice for you: 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. Stay true to yourself and set an example on and off the pitch, both in the way you think and behave.
It shouldn't become a source of tension between you and your team-mates either. They want to play as much as you do and you can't blame them for that. Being a versatile player can be an advantage and also a drawback too. While it can get you more playing time, it might mean you never play in your favourite position. But if that's the case, you just have to make the most of it and help your team out. After all, you're not the star! You're reliable and professional. The coach and your team-mates 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 team-mates and your opponents. You don't make fun of them and you don't break someone's leg in training just so you can get your place back in the team. You're a team player and doing something like that has never crossed your mind.
A good team-mate watches and listens and tries to bring the team together. They never abandon a player in trouble. You are the link between 100% of the players on your team. No matter your position, you always know what to say to encourage your team-mates! The idea of a collective is very important. Of course, you will also be the one who creates a good atmosphere in the bus or the locker room, since you know and are interested in all the players!
A good team-mate isn't necessarily the captain or the best player on the team - anyone can be a good team-mate for different reasons.