WOMEN'S FOOTBALL: what makes a good team player?

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.

Football: what makes a good team player?
Football: what makes a good team player?

Always be ready to give your all

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!

Accept that you're not going to play every game and be willing to play in different positions.

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.

Football: what makes a good team player?
Football: what makes a good team player?

Respect your team-mates and opponents and bring people together

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. You'd never leave someone in a tight spot. You're the person everyone in the team rallies around. And it doesn't matter where you play. You always know what to say to drive the rest of the team on and encourage them. And because team spirit is vital, you're also the one who gets the atmosphere going on the bus and in the dressing room, because you know all the players and take an interest in them.

You don't necessarily have to be the best player on the pitch or the captain to be a good team-mate. Anyone can fulfil that role, for lots of different reasons.

So don't hesitate to share your experience with everyone else in your team, especially the young ones, who need guidance from the more senior players, even though they'd never dare ask for it.

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