Beginning of this week there was a new girl joining up our team. She had just moved to town and wanted to continue to play Basketball on club level. This made me think how I would feel, if I had to move my coaching position to another team.

With this article, I’d like to answer the following question:
How can I get to know the people throughly in my new team?

If you are a new comer in a team, you may feel out of place the first time. You have a lot of things going on in your mind. You may ask the following questions:

  • Who are my new teammates?
  • How do they look like?
  • What are they like?
  • Will they like me?
  • Can I relate to them?
  • How can I connect to them?

These are just some questions that may that stir up your mind. As a new member, you have the tendency to worry as to whether they would like you or not. The fear of rejection would then start to build up within you.

You may find it hard to jive in with them because you see how they know each other so well. Well, let me tell you this. Being able to connect to each member of the team is your initial task. This is a great challenge to test your character. Do not be overwhelmed with fear of rejection. Whether they like it or not, you are still a member of the team. The relevance for you to get connected with them is for you to function along with them. A team functions as a unit.

Perhaps, I can help you with this one. Let me give you my very own tips on how you should connect to the other players of the team.

1. Be confident
As you walk into your new team, be confident. Do not stoop down and belittle yourself. Come on. Cheer up. Your self-confidence will give you the ability to get to know your teammates well. Make a good impression about yourself. Basketball players should be confident with themselves. What is there to hide? Do not think of how they would accept you. Instead, think of ways on how to get them accept you as a new member.

2. Get to know each member of the team
Take the chance to know each member of the team. Familiarize their faces and their names. They will truly appreciate your effort of recognizing them not just by their faces. That simple appreciation can grow their interest in you. They will have an impression that you are in a serious business. You take the time to study your teammates just by way of memorizing their names. In addition, it may also reflect that you can have the ability to learn the team’s basketball system easily.

3. Be Sociable
Do not stand on one side and create a world of your own. Socialize with your teammates. During practice hours, talk with them and ask for advices on how to improve your game. Since you are new to the team, ask questions about them like how was there day and stuffs like that. By doing this, you start a conversation with them, and as you ask questions, they will also have inquiries about you. The conversation will go on until you start to get to know each other in personal level. Make your conversation as sensible as possible. On the other hand, if you happen to meet one of your teammates somewhere, take the time to smile and greet them. If they invite you to a party or outing, be with them and take every chance you have to socialize with your new teammates. This is a great way of connecting with them.

4. Do not pretend to be somebody else. Be yourself.
This is the most common mistake people make. They pretend to be somebody they are not. You are driven to doing this one if you are centered on pleasing everyone in the team. This is a wrong move and no matter how perfect you are, you cannot please everybody. There will always be those who try to look at your imperfections. The best thing you can do is to just be yourself. Do not be afraid to show who you really are. Let your teammates see what kind of person you are inside and out.

5. Take time to listen
Listen to what your teammates have to say. When it is your time to talk, then talk. However, in order to better understand your teammates, listen to them first. In addition, you can analyze how they think by just doing so. Otherwise, if you ignore to listen to them, they will feel that you are not interested in them and their ideas. You may not notice it, but you are trying to reject them by not listening.

6. Be a man (or a girl) of values
Demonstrate appropriateness in your acts. Be a person of values. Respect all the members of the team and be honest. If there is something that you do not like about a certain teammate, approach that teammate and confront him. Say your honest opinion of him, but maintain the values of integrity. Do what you say. Be a good example and a good individual as well. If you do these things, you can gain the respect of your teammates on the long run.

7. Study your team’s basketball system
Focus on things that concern your presence in the team. You are in the team to give valuable contributions as a basketball player, so one part of it is to study the team’s basketball systems. Take down notes on things that you need to work on. You can also ask for advices from your teammates and coaching staff. When you get into the system, you can easily connect to other members of the team, especially during playing on both practice and actual games.

8. Practice harder that your teammates
As a new member, you need to work more on practices to keep up with your teammates. During your extra time, you can practice on your own. Just get into a place that is spacious enough, and has a basketball ring, or you can come early on practice times to have longer period of practice. Keep on learning every day until you get into their system. Remember, you have a lot of catching up to do.

9. Be enthusiastic
An enthusiastic person draws attention more easily. If you are enthusiastic, your teammates may find you interesting and fun to be with. Otherwise, they may find you boring. It is undeniable that people love to be with someone who is lively and joyous.

Trust is the foundation for the team to work as one. Establishing rapport is not going to be as easy as you think it is. You have to see your teammates as who they really are, and then you have to let them see you as to who you really are in return. It should go both ways in order to understand each other. When you’ve achieved that level of understanding in each other, you are now beginning to open up yourselves to a greater and wonderful relationship, which can extend far beyond the Basketball court!

Picture credit: (nutmeg)Creative Commons Attribution