Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.

 — Helen Keller



    1. Tight on time? Stick with the 3 Key Takeaways and The Basics. These will provide your athletes with a solid foundation for understanding teamwork.
    2. Have more time? Share the TrueSport Talk and discuss how they can relate to the Olympic athlete in this lesson.
    3. Looking for more? Sign up below to explore the Downloads & Additional Resources, which include additional conversation starters and supporting materials to enrich each lesson.


Team members need to know and appreciate one another's roles in order to maximize success.
By improving your own skills, you are improving the team as well.
Teamwork is possible only when it becomes unimportant who receives the credit for winning

The Basics

What is Teamwork?

Teamwork is when two or more people work together to accomplish a common goal.

A team won’t make it very far if everyone doesn’t agree 1) to work together, and 2) that the name on the front of their jersey is more important than the one on the back.

Teamwork is especially important in team sports. Teams that work together usually do better than teams that rely on just one or two players.

Not only does teamwork help win games, it also helps create strong friendships with teammates that will last long after the final whistle blows.

As they say, teamwork makes the dream work!

TrueSport Talk

Watch this TrueSport talk with DeeDee Trotter or read the lesson aloud

DeeDee Trotter in action on the track

American track and field athlete DeeDee Trotter was faced with a difficult decision just moments before she was set to compete in the 4 x 400m relay at the Beijing Olympic Games. Just before she was to run as the anchor position, DeeDee, one of the fastest women in the world, began experiencing severe pain from a previous injury and was not at 100 percent. As she and her teammates began to mentally and physically prepare to run, DeeDee informed her three teammates to tell the alternate runner to warm up.

Her teammates were of course surprised, but gathered together quickly to make adjustments for the relay. With DeeDee on the sideline, the team successfully advanced to the 4 x 400 meter relay finals and eventually the top of the podium, winning a gold medal for Team USA. Even though DeeDee had trained with the team and helped them to the semis, because she did not run in the final she did not receive a gold medal of her own.

DeeDee’s decision to give up her spot on the team was difficult. But she knew she had to make the decision with the team in mind, and that in the end, it really did not matter who received the credit. Had DeeDee run the relay with her injured knee, she would have been putting her own interests above those of the team.

Instead, she was the ultimate teammate and did what was best for Team USA. TrueSport athletes like DeeDee put their teammates above themselves and understand the importance of each other’s roles.

TrueSport Talk Questions

1. What was the main point you took away from the lesson?

2. Would you have made the same sacrifice as DeeDee?

3. How can you practice being a better teammate this week or during your next season?

Downloads & Additional Resources:

Complete the form to get resources on Teamwork delivered to your inbox. Resources include:

  • Lesson (PDF)
    Away from the computer or internet access? Grab the download to bring with you on the field.
  • Chalk Talk (PDF)
    Use this 15-minute activity to reinforce why teamwork is so important with these simple questions.
  • Teamwork: Team Player Worksheet (PDF)
    This simple worksheet will test your athletes’ knowledge about what makes a good (and bad) teammate. 
  • TrueSport Certificate (PDF)
    Celebrate your group’s completion of the TrueSport Teamwork lesson with this special certificate.

Sign-up to receive the Teamwork resources!

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