Philippine Habagat Getting Stronger

When the team works, real Teamwork is achieved


At the end of a long and gruelling 4 hour practice session with some 11-14 year old boys, I found myself closing the day with a talk about teamwork. It wasnt a planned topic but I had to talk about it because the team only had 5 months to go before their Asia Pacific Regional Baseball Tournament and we were struggling with implementing some of our plays and plans.

Everyone involved with the team know how high the standard of play will be come tournament time. We know the teams from Japan, Taiwan,Korea and China are killing themselves in practice as we are, maybe even more.We do not expect anything less than the best players coming from those countries.

One of the ways we can beat these countries is to come into this tournament as a team. One thought, one sound, one look, one goal, one team. We all knew that in order to match these powerhouse countries each player must truly understand the concept of teamwork.

I spoke about how teamwork is not only about how we must play during the tournament but it is also about how we prepare. Respect is the bedrock of how individuals in teams truly contribute in making the whole greater than the sum of its parts and that is where my speech started.

When I began speaking it was as if no one wanted to listen to me. They heard it all before. The words I spoke were words repeated over and over again. I know each boy just wanted me to finish so they could all go home and rest. That was until I said something that made all of them look up and listen.

“Teamwork”, I said, “is also about knowing your weakness and praying that your teammate recognize that”. “You should all hope that when they recognize it, they respect you enough, to be there when you need help”. Each of them looked up at me seemingly asking why I was speaking of their weakness rather than their strength.

I paused for a moment and I said. ” When your opponents cannot identify the weakest player. When they are confused as to where to attack. When they are unsure of how to beat us is when you truly are working as a team”.

I immediately saw smiles and began hearing soft chuckles. The moment I saw some of them give each other pats on the back and slight nudges on the head I knew they understood.

No one is perfect. There will strong players and there will be the not so strong ones. But the strong ones will always have

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weaknesses and the not so strong ones will always have something to contribute. Each will have to play their roles. Because when the team begins to work, then true teamwork is achieved.