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

 — Helen Keller

TEACHING THIS LESSON? HERE ARE SOME TIPS:

Tight on time? Stick with the 3 Key Takeaways and The Basics. These will provide your athletes with a solid foundation for understanding teamwork.

Have more time? Share the TrueSport Talk and discuss how an Olympic athlete can relate to this lesson.

Extra time? Continue on through to Tips & Applications for more valuable information to share with your group.

Looking for more? Explore the Downloads & Additional Resources, which offer additional conversation starters and fun physical activities to support each lesson.

3 Key Takeaways

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

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?

Tips & Applications

Additional Guidelines for Teamwork

A successful team relies on one another, has good chemistry, and a sense of unity — also known as a “we not me” mentality.

Some sports — like tennis, golf, or gymnastics — are considered individual sports. Although athletes’ scores are tallied separately, there is usually a team score at the end of competition that indicates the team’s efforts. Thus, even though these athletes are competing independently they are still important contributors to the team’s overall success.

For effective teamwork, it is best for each member to know and appreciate one another’s roles. Every player, whether a starter or not, has an important role and the teams that recognize and honor this are the teams that typically live up to their potential and win championships.

Downloads & Additional Resources:

Teamwork: Lesson Companion (PDF) DOWNLOAD
Printable version of the online lesson: Away from the computer or internet access? Print out and use this handout that’s identical to the online lesson.

Teamwork: Chalk Talk (PDF) DOWNLOAD
15 minute activity: Reinforce why teamwork is so important with these simple questions and an activity.

Teamwork: Activities (PDF) DOWNLOAD
15 and 20-minute activities: Teach the importance of teamwork to all age groups with these fun activities.  

Teamwork: Team Player Worksheet (PDF) DOWNLOAD
Handout: This simple worksheet will test your athletes’ knowledge about what makes a good (and bad) teammate. 

Teamwork: True or False Activity (PDF) DOWNLOAD
15 minute worksheet: Review your athletes’ abilities to identify and explain what both good and bad teamwork is. (answers included)

Teamwork: TrueSport Certificate (PDF) DOWNLOAD
Lesson Certificate: Celebrate your group’s completion of the TrueSport Teamwork lesson with this special certificate.

Teamwork: Parent Handout (PDF)
Handout: Parent Recap – Coming soon!

Teamwork: Athlete Handout (PDF)
Handout: Athlete Recap – Coming soon!