Teaching teamwork to youth teams is an age-appropriate way to teach children how to work with others. Working together teaches us to depend on others and to be dependable. When your child is on a team using cooperation and teamwork, it helps improve his or her questioning, respecting, helping and sharing skills. Communication skills are also developed.
Being a good teammate not only helps your child’s current team but could have benefits for their future.
And it starts at home with chores and tasks. Working together with family helps children work with their peers and other adults. Plan a meal together. Use teamwork to put up the laundry or dishes. Tell your child — or children — what it means to part of your team (family).
Teamwork can also start in schools and be worked on in classrooms.
However, the best place to gain maximum benefits is in the field or out on a court. Being put in athletic situations that bring out positive stress and help develop character can best bring out cooperation, collaboration, unity and fellowship. Remind students in athletic situations that they are working toward a common cause. This helps bolster teamwork. Pointing out that the front of their uniform has the team name and logo, which matches that of their peers, will remind them of their commitment to being a teammate.
Your youth can become a good teammate by improving themselves on and off the field. Working hard each day at practices and giving 100 percent during games displays willingness to be a good team member. As a team member, you represent your team throughout the entire season or your commitment to the program. Hydrating, doing homework and making good choices around school and at home shows dedication to the group. Encouraging your teammates during and after practices also shows good teamwork. Having a good attitude on and off the field strengthens cooperation and commitment to group. Last but not least, being coachable shows you are a good teammate. Your athlete being coachable allows for the coach to give time and effort towards helping the team achieve its goals.
Angee (Henry) Nott is a former University of Nebraska track athlete who was a three-time Big 12 champion and a 10-time All-American. She was inducted into the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2010. She has coached track and cross country at Boys Town High School since 2004, where she is also an English teacher. She continues to empower her students to reach their potential on the track and in the classroom.