Teamwork can make or break a team’s performance. In 2006, an older age division of girls on my team were trying to qualify 2 teams for Nationals. In order to accomplish this objective, for the regional competition, our coach divided the teams so each were balanced and would have an equal chance of qualifying, having an equal number of faster and slower runners. However, some of the faster girls knew that they would qualify no matter how they performed and didn’t put 100% on the line at regionals. As a result of this, the second team did not qualify for Nationals. Teammates win or lose as a team and every runner is indispensable. In the words of Henry Ford, “Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together...is success.”

 

“Coming together is the beginning...”

What would you do sitting in the bleachers all day at track meets without fun teammates to hang out with? Pre-season team building is essential to unity within a team. Running camps were always one of my favorite parts of being on a team. Held at Big Bear mountain, running camp helped us to get to know our teammates better. The grueling experience of having two runs every day helped us to bond. I have some great memories from these camps, including 12-mile long runs, water balloon fights, Jeanette’s fried rice, and the famous annual skit nights. These and other activities were essential to uniting the team and were a great beginning to a successful season.

 

“...Keeping together is progress...”

Coaches implement many workouts to help build teamwork. For example, relays and Indian runs are fun exercises that require teammates cooperating. A team cannot reach it’s goals if it does not work together. Have the goals been clearly defined? Do teammates communicate and respect each other? These are essential to the success of a team. Teammates must also remain unified even

 

“...Working together...is success.”

Although the top 5 runners on a team are the scorers, the rest of the team is just as important because they push back scorers on other people’s teams. Teammates that communicate harmoniously, attend practices diligently, and work off each other will eventually become successful.

 

Because I run, I have learned how to be a better team player. Because I run, I have learned the value of trusting others and of the satisfaction that comes when success is attained through a team effort.