The definition of a team, as defined by Webster, is a group of people working or playing together.
But those who have ever been a part of one, a truly great one, know that there is a much deeper meaning to that one word. Working together is merely the surface of it. Being part of a team is hard work, sweat, tears and giving 100 percent of yourself, 100 percent of the time, to reach one common goal.
• A team cannot be found; a team can only be built. What starts as strangers, neighbors, friends or enemies must be built from the ground up and eventually shaped into a well-oiled machine. It is not an easy task, nor an easy journey, but it can be shared among all who eventually come together and grow together. It’s the kind of team that will inevitably find success together.
• A team cannot be led; it can only be guided. A good coach knows that waiting for a leader to arrive is not effective. A good coach must build a leader. When those team members are turned into leaders, and those leaders turn into competitors, a coach has accomplished all that he or she can.
• A team cannot be broken; it will always persevere. What cannot be achieved by one must be taken on by many. Each athlete has his or her own roles; teams are composed of individuals, but their success is determined by their unity. A single player competes and can be defeated; a team battles and overcomes.
• A team cannot reach perfection; it must always continue to grow. Individuals reach their goals; teams meet their goals face to face and continue forward. A disaster can be constructed into a marvel, but what is admired can quickly fall to pieces. The road is never smooth, and the path is never straight. A player can fall or lose the way; a team carries on and never stops searching. For a team, there is no unreachable level, there is no end, and there is no limit.
• A team cannot be duplicated; it is one of a kind. Teamwork is a structure of strength that is reinforced by smaller connections among the individuals who make it up. It is friendship and trust. It is finding out just what it means to lay it all on the line, leave everything on the court and to dig deep within to reach your goals as one. New members will join, and others will eventually leave, but the team will always remain. The bonds formed, the progress made, and the success that was achieved will live on long past the season’s end.
• A team cannot be defined; it can only be experienced. It is a time that you won’t ever forget, a goal you never thought you could reach, and memories that will never be replaced. Success is demonstrating dedication, skill, strength and heart, but teamwork is finding each of those qualities in each other. A team is built, guided and one of a kind. A team will never stop growing, and it will never stop succeeding. A team is simply, irreplaceable.Article by David Charleston, owner/founder, The Orange Planet Athletic Club, 5650 Metro Business Drive, Pleasant Hill, firstname.lastname@example.org.