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  • Writer's pictureCameron Branch

Team Work Makes The Dream Work: Effective Tips For Being a Better Teammate in Volleyball

Updated: Feb 21

People play volleyball for a variety of reasons. Some play volleyball to obtain a degree. Some are interested in building friendships. Some crave the nature of competition. Some enjoy the contribution that volleyball makes in their life. Volleyball builds character and develops life skills. 

Volleyball is more than just playing volleyball. It provides an opportunity to share the court with people that share the same passion as you. This is what makes the sport special. However, I didn't realize this right away. I had taken it for granted until......

Cameron Branch celebrating a point with his teammates. Photo Credits: Gepa
It's time to celebrate! Photo Credits: Gepa
The turning point.

It was during the midst of my varsity volleyball career at Nipissing University when I had a transformational 1 on 1 meeting with coach Eric Yung. Eric said “Cam, nobody will remember you for the amount of points you scored, or being recognized as MVP. Your teammates will remember you for how you made them feel on the court”.

Let that sink in for just a moment…..

Ever since that meeting, I have tried to be a better teammate. Some may argue, but I think as volleyball players (especially at the varsity and the professional level), we take for granted that volleyball is a TEAM sport, and it takes a TEAM to win.

So what does it mean to be a good teammate?

What comes to mind when I think of a good teammate is someone who is a good person. Someone who is helpful, accountable, supportive, and works hard on and off the court.

Helpful example: gives feedback about a situation, or skill that can improve your game. 

Accountable example: shows up to practice on time, focused and ready to work while holding others to the same standard. 

Supportive example: when adversity strikes, they provide a listening ear and personal perspective. 

Works hard example: does the work off the court, so when they come to training or games, they are prepared with boundless energy and relentless confidence. 

Cameron Branch celebrates a team victory. Photo Credits: Gepa
Home victory against Graz, Austria. Photo Credits: Gepa
Through being a better teammate by focusing on being helpful, accountable, supportive, and hard working on and off the court, I feel more connected with my teammates, happier, and have less pressure on the court. These feelings provide a confidence that allows me to unlock my greatest potential in training, and games. 

So what can you do? Take some time to reflect on these questions:

1) Are you supportive?
2) Do you hold yourself and your teammates accountable?
3) Do you take responsibility for your performance or do you blame it on your team?
4) Do you celebrate points of others, or just yourself?

These are just some questions you can ask yourself to bring awareness to being a better teammate! 

Bottom Line:

Volleyball is a team sport, and it takes a team to win, consistently. This applies for training and games. Being a good teammate happens on and off the court. People will remember how you made them feel, not the points you've scored or awards you've won. 

Team celebration after a successful Champions League victory. Photo Credits: Alex PauliPhoto Credits: Alex Pauli
Team celebration after a successful Champions League victory. Photo Credits: Alex Pauli
Final Action Step!

Thank you for reading! If you thought this article was helpful, please click the share icon and share the article to your profiles so other athletes and coaches can benefit.

Follow along here on Instagram where I provide weekly tips on foundational resources including training, recovery, nutrition, and mindset!

Also, be sure to check out other articles within the  The Athlete Toolbox.

Cameron Branch

Founder | Lead Coach | Branch Sports Performance

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