I always loved being part of a team.
I hold a particular place in my heart for my old high school teammates. Some of us played together for 10 years and shared a type of ESP.
We could read each other. We knew each other’s mannerisms and personalities. We zoned in on how to inspire one another, and worked hard to avoid what would cause stress.
We got back on defense to cover, and laid up passes ahead of sprinting teammates to score goals.
The best part of playing together that long was that we also were forgiving. There were many times I was open and received a pass, but missed the shot.
Or, someone didn’t get back on defense to cover their man, and in doing so let the other team score.
But that didn’t stop us from supporting one another. We didn’t spite the person who didn’t get back on defense the next time down the field, and I still got the pass when I was open.
It’s easy to get angry when someone doesn’t meet your expectations or flat out hurts you. But what we often forget is that we’re all on the same team. We are human. We are going to make mistakes, and sometimes we are going to let each other down, and yes, we are going to hurt each other.
When someone hurts us, the knee-jerk reaction is to hurt them back. If they miss the shot, it’s tempting to not pass them the ball again.
But that only makes things worse. You may ruin a relationship by doing or saying something that you can’t take back.
It’s simple really.
What makes a team successful is teamwork. Not giving up on each other when you’ve failed one another.
In life, and in sports, there is plenty of room for error. To continue to make someone feel bad for a mistake only creates a negative environment where no one can thrive.
You may not want to pass the ball again to the teammate who missed 80 percent of her shots in the game.
But still, pass her the ball. Because she just might surprise you, and nail the game-winning buzzer-beater.
Heather Gillis Harris is reporter for the Country (Mass.) Gazette. A three-sport high school athlete and two-sport college athlete, sports have long been a passion of hers. Heather Harris can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @heatherharrisWL.