Rowing Role and Team Goal

Goals are greater than roles.

My last post was on on how 1 is such a powerless number.  I want to follow up that post with how important the team goal is in perspective to each individual role when working together.

Think about a time when you have been selfish and thought about only yourself during a team activity.  More than likely you put your role ahead of the team goal.  By doing this you are taking away from the overall goal of the team.  You are making yourself a priority while the rest of the team suffers.  A blaring example is if one person does all the work in a group during a group project in school.  We have all been there right?  The awful group projects!!! If you are anything like me, you wanted to take charge and do all the work so that you knew the work got done.  More than likely that is the case because we have been burned in the past by a bad group member.  So rather than take a leadership role and get the group all together on the same page and get the job done, we want to take the burden on our self.  This is not what teamwork is supposed to look like. This is wrong on many levels, but team members are putting their roles ahead of the team goals.

When a team works together, every team member puts the groups goal in mind at all times.  Regardless of what you may feel is more important, you keep the goal in mind.  As soon as you lose focus of the end goal, you lose the team mentality.

Team sports require everyone to be on the same page.  Even coaches can fall into the trap of thinking their role is more important then the goal.  I have been guilty of this myself in the past and still fight it today.  To be completely transparent, there are times when I feel threatened, almost like another coaches suggestion is a direct result of something I may have done.  This is putting my selfishness in front of the teams goal.  It is important to ground myself, and realize that our goal is greater than my role.  I remember when I left my job in the retail business and someone asked me if they thought the store would be fine without me managing it, I simply told them that this store has been “around long before me, and it will be around long after me.” That is an example of putting the goal before the role.

Keep that in mind, as players and coaches, the program has been around long before you, and it will be around long after you.  It is a team effort of character and commitment that leaves a legacy.  Be the person that leaves a positive mark, but always remember, the goal is always greater than the role. When everyone is on the same page, and puts forth maximum effort to their role, the team will end up reaping the benefits. It is in that process that a team hits on all cylinders.  It is in that process that coaches and players alike have the potential to change lives and leave lasting impressions on all those lives they touch.

There is a reason why there is a picture of a rowing team above this post. Think about if one person loses sight of the end goal on a rowing team.  If you have ever watched the sport, there couldn’t be a more prime example of team work.  Every person has to be on the same page, at the same time and in sync with one another to get to the finish line first.  Every person has a job to do in that boat, if one person puts their role in front of the team’s goal, they lose critical seconds.  Goal>Role


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