Sports Speak: The process of teamwork


I hate to quote a rather over used phrase, but teamwork makes the dream work.

That’s right, this week’s column is about teamwork. Now before you stop reading, I want you to know this isn’t about some cliché that the whole world is perfect and we should all work together so we can achieve awesome things. No, if anything, this is about sports, and perhaps even about some different life choices that people can make in general. This article is about competition and reaching greater heights.

One of the best things I frequently hear from athletes when I interview them, and I think I’ve heard it from volleyball players the most, is that they are just another member of the team that is just doing their job. Now, while there is an argument that this is easier for a volleyball player to say because of the similarities between the positions, I’ve heard it from football players as well; so I don’t think it’s something specifically related to any individual sport.

It doesn’t have to be related to sports. At the end of the day, a team has a goal that they need to achieve. Sometimes, the entire weight of that goal falls on a singular person, such as a forward deep in the opposing defense to score a goal without any team support. And sometimes, it takes a system of actions that moves the goal from player to player, like the system of bump, set and spike in volleyball.

My point is, even if the entire weight falls on a single person, it’s still a group effort. Teamwork really does make the dream work, because a team is not made up of a single player at the end of the day. Michael Jordan wasn’t the only player on the Chicago Bulls, just like how Matt Leblanc, who plays Joey Tribbiani in “Friends”, isn’t the star of a sitcom about six friends.

Even here at a student newspaper, a single person doesn’t write the paper. Several people are involved in the process of getting the paper published every week, and without that teamwork, you wouldn’t be reading this column on the physical paper that you are now.

So work together. While plenty of athletes learn to get along and be friends, there’s no way that they all are. Yet, you don’t see football players breaking into fist fights with each other on the field. Instead, they respect each other for achieving what can’t be accomplished by a single person. Now that’s teamwork.