Winning the respect of your teammates and coaches is hardly ever discussed yet it is very important in order to have a proper functioning team on and off the field. Below are my top 10 areas in order to help you win respect from your fellow teammates and coaches.
1) Be the hardest working player on the team: if you are not the hardest working player on your team then that means someone else cares more than you do about the finals results. If you are indifferent about the results and only focused on personal results then this will also shine through. When you are successful as a team, personal accolades will follow. Train harder in practice so that when game time comes you are more than prepared. When your teammates see how hard you work and how much you care for the success of the team they will follow suit.
2) Listen to your teammates and coaches when they are speaking: even if you are the best player on the team listen to your teammates when they have something important to say. At half time they may have something very important regarding the game that you may have overlooked. Either way, if you want others to listen to you then it’s only fair to listen to them.
3) Play with passion: when you score a goal celebrate. Don’t show off but be proud and happy with the goal you or your teammate scored. When I was training at a soccer camp in Holland the coaches told us to celebrate. They made a point of this! It sounds obvious but many players simply score, do a quick huddle of congratulations and then move back to center. Instead, enjoy the moment!
4) Be a nice teammate and know what you’re doing: some players are negative and it becomes a viscous circle. Don’t be negative and if you’re your fans are negative then practice tuning them out. When I say nice, I don’t mean be a push over. You can still be tough as nails at kick-off but being a good person will go a long way than being a self centered individual. Also, know what you’re doing on the field. Some players have personal goals they are striving to achieve and they end up putting those ahead of the team goals. It’s better to be positive, supportive and to put the team first.
5) Be vocal: talking loud, giving instructions and tactics on the field where your opponents can hear you will remind them that you are there. Many players are quiet on the pitch and this serves no good. Think about it. If you are playing an opponent and he is absolutely quiet, shy and timid you would take complete advantage of that. On the flip side if your opponent was loud, confident and sure of what he’s saying you will know that he is there and it could have a psychological affect on you. Each player on the pitch at every professional game I have seen was very loud. It can certainly become intimidating. It also shows you and your team are in control.
6) Support your teammates when needed: some players lack confidence or their confidence comes and goes for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it’s best to be a support for your teammates by encouraging them on an individual level. Speak to them before or after a match and remind them of their importance to the team and the talent they bring to the club. Not only will your teammates respect you for caring but perhaps at a later date when you are in need of a boost they will help you out.
7) Don’t have a big mouth; let your feet do the talking: some players develop the bad habit of swearing, mouthing off to opponents and/or officials and it always comes back to haunt them. Looking on from the outside, players who have big mouths embarrass themselves, their teammates and their club. Instead, let your skills do the talking. Play better, complete your passes, create plays, win tackles, be a work horse, be the engine of your team and never give up. Seeing that from the outside will help you win the respect of your teammates, the opponents, the officials and the fans.
8) Back to basics: no matter how good you are, practicing the basics and fundamentals of the game are very important. Even the best players in the world work on the basics over and over. It helps build muscle memory so that when the time comes in a game to execute a certain play or move you no longer need to think about it. The movement simply becomes natural and you will just do it, with success! Don’t ever think you’re too advanced for mastering the basics.
9) Respect yourself: many players beat themselves up over missed chances and errors. They swear, pout, carry poor posture and sulk after a failed opportunity. All players make errors, even in the world cup finals, after all we’re human. If you make an error, don’t beat yourself up over it. Learn from it and move on. There will be plenty of time in the future to analyze what went wrong and how to correct it.
10) Ask your coach what you can and could have done better: constantly seeking improvement and the guidance of your coach will show that you care and are serious about taking your game to the next level. When your coach sees this he/she will instantly have more respect for you. This will benefit all parties involved. You will become a better player, your teammates will notice the leaps you’ve made in your abilities and your coach will then set the bar even higher.