A few days ago I took my son to a day of intensive basketball training with A&B basketball. Before our workouts they play a game called break the chain in order to warm up, encourage teamwork and wake the kids up.
I watched as a simple game became difficult because the kids were not working as a team. The coach eventually stopped everyone and explained to them; that they could not win without working as a team.
It took them a while but they finally got it!
As I watched them I realized that teamwork is a hard concept to grasp at any age. We are taught by default to take care of and worry about ourselves. But this same thinking can ruin your progression or even your relationships.
Learning to work as part of a team takes some time but once it’s mastered things work much better. Here are some of the things I try to emphasize with my kids and sometimes even with other adults.
Empathy For Others
To be a great team member you have to be able to think and care about what others might feel.
Kids sometimes don’t get empathy because many of us ADULTS don’t get it. We assume that our kids will just figure that part of the game by themselves but that’s not the case.
Just look at our previous election! No matter your political stance, economic class or race being empathetic towards others is a must.
It starts with us parents first. Letting our kids know that people are different and that it’s ok is something we can do on the daily. Reminding your kids to be great people starts with them being great towards others, show them how it’s done.
Teamwork: Communication Is The Key
Everybody especially kids swear they are the best communicators in the world. Sorry to burst your bubble most of us REALLY REALLY suck at it!
Kids like some adults, know it all and assume the most; which can be detrimental to any team. My dad always used to tell me, “don’t make yourself an ASS by assuming you know what others are thinking. “
I’ll never forget that and try to always remember it. I always tell my kids that the more details the give me the better the results will be. The only way for anyone to know what you are really thinking is to actually tell them, so why hold back?
Assumptions don’t help anyone, real talk does!
A great way to work on communication is to ask your kids questions about every thing and anything that pops up. Even if you understand what they are trying to say, ask for more! Don’t work on understanding them, work on them giving you all the information you need!
If You Always Shine Alone, You Won’t Shine Forever
Kids are quick to blame each other and are quick to worry about their own personal accomplishments before they worry about others. Especially when they want to show off for DAD!
This is bad in sports and in life. We all hate people that focus on hogging the spot light or taking too much credit, especially when there’s a TEAM that gets them there. Just think of your boss at work lol, I hate him/her too!
I always tell my son that he can score 100 points in a game but if his team loses no one will care. He doesn’t always remember and that’s cool, he’s a kid.
Take the time to remind your child that his/her team is stronger when everyone is working for each other not for individual accolades. Remind them, that winning, as a team is way more important than an individual win on a team that loses.
Everyone smiles when they win, no one wants the credit for losing especially if it’s their fault!
Chill Your Child is Not Kobe or Serena Yet
As parents our kids can do no wrong. They are the best at everything we see them doing or so we think!
I get it, you created the perfect child but that child can mess up just like everyone else. It only takes one bad link to break the power of a chain.
If your child always thinks that they are the best and don’t need anyone else they will always be a liability for any team that they join.
It’s a dad’s job to keep it a hundred with not just yourself but also your child. Even if you think they are great they will always need the rest of the team in order to win or to even improve. They can’t do it alone no matter how good you or they feel they are.
Teamwork is about knowing everyone’s strength and then applying those strengths where others might be weak. A great team player knows this and finds ways to make everyone better. Kids need that reminder!
Kids just like adults; notice when one person acts like they are the best and sooner or later they will stop interacting with them. This can and probably will kill their team’s moral. Don’t let your child be that kid!
You don’t have to take a full day to teach your kids about teamwork. Besides incorporating it in every day life I like finding activities around building things together like Lego or Home Depot’s Kid’s Workshops! Here the kids are forced to have to work together or with their parents which makes the lessons easier to apply.
Remember kids learn by examples, so it starts with YOU! Represent!
Have a tip or know of events/activities where you must apply team work? Hit us up!
Originally Posted At Cool4Dads.com