When doing my reading earlier today the section “surrendering the ‘me’ for the ‘we’” caught my eye. Often times, athletes are on a team for their own benefits rather than the team’s. These athletes are simply not committed to the team they are on and are frankly OK with it. As coaches, formal athletes, and consultants we see this happening way too often. The hardest part for a coach is to convince the athletes that their personal interests should come behind team success.
In collegiate athletics and professional sports this issue is even more prevalent (Jassen, 2002). With uneven distribution of athletic scholarships and performance based salaries athletes are committed
at a variety of levels. The more talented an athlete the more he or she gets rewarded (in most cases, financially), the more rewarded they get the more they are willing to stay on the team and perform for the team.
Jassen (2002) gives a great metaphor on commitment: do you see your team as a rental car that you don’t really care about or do you see it as a brand new car you just bought with your own money? Making the athlete realize how important the team is will likely to lead more commitment and a sense of ownership.
Janssen, J. (2002). Championship team building: What every coach needs to know to build a
Motivated, committed, & cohesive team. Tucson, AZ: Winning The Mental Game.