Team Survival 101

How to be the “ultimate” team player (when playing on a professional, high school, college or recreational league tennis team)

  1. Win Matches – Your number one and most important responsibility is to win matches. Your commitment to the team is to do everything possible to put yourself in a position to win matches or to be at your highest level of performance each match.
  2. Help teammates win matches – Your number two and second most important responsibility is to support your teammates in their efforts to win matches.  To do everything possible to put yourself and your teammates in a position to win matches should be your main overriding focus for everything you do for and with the team.
  3. Be positive.  Be positive not only to benefit your game but also to benefit the conviction and attitude of the other players on your team.
  4. Never give up.  It’s extremely important for the psyche, morale and spirit of your team to know that every player is committed to giving 100% each and every match no matter the score or circumstance.
  5. Continuously try to improve.  Establish a goal to incrementally get better each and every time you go on the court and to help your teammates incrementally improve their skills as well.
  6. Offer no excuses or cast blame.  If every player is positive in attitude, gives 100%, is trying to get better and is truly committed to doing everything possible to win matches, then it really doesn’t matter if you or one or more other players has a bad day or loses a match.  You’re all in it together good or bad.
  7. Communicate – A shared vision requires a shared dialogue and open (constructive) communication.
  8. Support your coach.  Respect the judgment and decisions of your coach.  Take advantage of his/her expertise and perspective (particularly as it relates to recognizing your strengths, weaknesses, best match-ups and partner combinations).
  9. Take nothing personally.  In any team situation, there will disappointments and things said and done that may hurt your feelings.  Team dynamics are not always clean and easy.  Assume the best intentions and stay true to your main objective to win matches and support your teammates in their efforts to win matches.
  10. Have fun.  Choose to have fun and to make things fun for your teammates.  Of course, being actively engaged on the court working hard and trying to get better (collectively as a team) is fun.

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