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Re Porter - Be a good teammate
bethany porter

I have been on a lot of teams in my life and it doesn’t matter if it is a sports team, group project, or whatever, you will always find the same groups of people. There are team players, team captains, bench warmers, ball hogs, and those who don’t even know they’re in the game. I think these classifications can be applied to a lot of situations in life. 

In school, I hated group projects because despite my best efforts to only be a team player I always ended up in the team captain role. Group projects always result in one or two people doing most of the work. I liked getting good grades, so I always did more than my fair share to make the grades. So I guess I classify myself as a reluctant team captain who only wants to be a team player. 

The bench warmers aren’t as bad as they sound. This just means they have not been put in the game yet, but are ready to help when needed. I would compare a bench warmer to someone who has not yet been trusted with a big project yet, but when they get the chance they will turn into a team player. In literal terms, I was a bench warmer in high school during softball, but occasionally when given the chance I would often prove I was just as capable as the others. Then I would make one mistake and be yanked out of the game, but that is a story for another day.

Everyone knows what a ball hog is. When I played soccer in college we had plenty of ball hogs on the team. I, on the other hand, wanted to get rid of the ball as soon as I got it. I can’t think of a positive scenario regarding a ball hog. I would compare this to maybe people in our lives who only think of themselves. Ball hogs only have their interests in mind and disregard what is best for the team.

We also have those who don’t even know they’re in the game. I sometimes wonder how some people can be so ignorant to their surroundings or situations that they don’t understand they are a problem. These people are the kids who pick dandelions in the outfield, or the kid playing with the net while the other team scores a goal. These people don’t realize the team needs them. These people can be found in all aspects of life. 

I did a group project in college that required everyone in the group to be featured in a recorded presentation. I and this one girl did ALL the work and while we were recording over Zoom. One person couldn’t even be bothered to stop playing a video game during his part and everyone else had no idea what the project was even about. The other girl and I probably got these people the first “A” they had ever seen. 

Being a team player or team captain is often exhausting when you are on a team full of dandelion pickers. To quote Angel, from “Angel,” “If nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do.” A thank you might not always be waiting for us, but we know where we stand. 

Standard reporter Bethany Porter can be reached at (931) 473-2191.