Being a part of sports teams my whole life, and being a part of the lacrosse team for four years at Nyack has taught me many lessons I don’t know that I would have learned otherwise. There is something about pouring all of your blood, sweat, and tears into something bigger than yourself with a group of people all dedicated to a common purpose. It’s scary, it’s difficult, it’s rewarding, and it’s worth it. You can’t be a part of a team and not grow. Dedicating all of your energy- both physically and mentally- to a team, is something that will teach you more than you would ever expect. Throughout my years on teams, these are some challenging, yet important lessons I have learned.
- You can’t succeed alone. You are only as strong as your weakest link. If one part of the team falls apart, the whole team falls apart. On a team, you have to learn how to not only accomplish goals alone, but how to lead others to help them accomplish their goals, and help the whole team work together towards a common vision. Only then will the team succeed.
- Sometimes you have to put yourself aside for the bigger picture. When you do things independently, you determine the pace, you determine what you want to do each day, and you make your own decisions. When you are part of a team, however, you have to learn to not always do what is best for you, but to do what is best for the team.
- Leadership. Every person on a team has to play their role in order for the team to succeed. This allows each person to be a leader in their role. Whether you are a leader in defense, in athleticism, in team building, or in the mental aspects of the game, you have a role to take ownership of and lead in.
- What it means to truly give everything you’ve got.You don’t truly know what it means to give your all and hold nothing back until you are part of a team. When you are part of a great team, you will do anything for your teammates and everything for the game. You have no excuses and nothing to hold back when you are competing because it is worth it to give everything you have.
- That team is the closest thing you will ever find to family. When you pour so much time, energy, and passion into a team, there’s no way that the people on your team can just remain teammates. Teammates become your best friends and then your family. You might not always get along, you might have one teammate that annoys you more than others, and you might want to kill each other sometimes. But, in the end, you know that there is nothing you wouldn’t do for the people on your team, and you know that you will always have at least 15 other people who will stick by your side no matter what life brings your way.