Simply put, a great teammate is one who is willing to contribute to the team more than he or she takes away. Every team has a collection of very talented players who many on their own can change the facet of a game. However, when it comes to soccer championships whether that is a club team, a school championship, or even the World Cup Final, it is the best TEAM that continually comes out on top. The best teams are a collection of players who are willing to make their efforts more about the team rather than their own statistics or getting their name in the paper.
Have you ever played with a teammate who played for themselves more so than for the team? There are many examples of this in soccer today. How many times does a player make great effort to set up a teammate who simply has to tap the ball into the goal and subsequently runs to the corner flag pointing at the name on the back of their jersey and beginning their over the top celebration? This is seen on TV in almost every game. For all of you goal scorers, how about going to the teammate who passed you the ball to score the goal before worrying about the goal celebration that you have been contemplating days before the game.
Here is an example of the right way to do it. The US Men’s National Team has a great build up of passing to ultimately fall to the feet of Jozy Altidore who slots it past the keeper and notice the first place he goes after scoring the goal…directly to his teammate Fabian Johnson who played him a great ball to score. This was a great team effort and as a result the team celebrated together, rather than 10 players frantically trying to catch up to the goal scorer erratically running around the soccer field or “pitch” as it is also known.