One of the challenges teams are face is having members who quit the group. Nobody is permanent at all times. I guess, players do not really think much about it because they focus their attention to the sport. But when the time comes that someone has to leave, the issue becomes a problem that affects the entire team, especially the co-players.

It is difficult to play without the teammate that you have been playing with for a long period of time and it can affect the mood, as well as the performance of the team. But every problem is coupled with solutions. You just have to be patient and wise enough to discover the solutions.

I would like to share my thoughts on how you can deal with players who quit your team.

Talk to your teammate
The best way you can understand your teammate is to talk to him. You might not know that leaving the team can also be hard for him. Arrange a schedule in which you can personally have the chance to spend time with him privately. In this, it is going to be much more comfortable for the two of you, to tackle any important issues.

You see, your teammate might be experiencing something that is difficult for him to express. Just being with him and talking with him can lessen the burden he is carrying. By this time, you are talking to him as a friend rather than a teammate.

Avoid expressing how upset you are about him leaving your team. You cannot create a peaceful communication if you do that. You will create a barrier that further separates you from him. And the worst part is that you are trying to give him the expression that what he did was right.

Everyone has their own reason why they decide things. You have to be sensitive and understanding about the situation. Do not just think about the team, but think about your teammate as well.

Respect your teammate’s decision
Like I said, people decide for themselves. We do not own anybody to withhold them from making decisions. The sad part about it is that as a teammate of the player who quit, you can be significantly affected. Players have their respective roles in the team. When a player is gone, the team can get lame. That is probably the most disappointing part. So much to that, teammates can also be emotionally affected. They get used to working with each other every day, and then suddenly they realize that someone is about to leave. Who would not feel bad about that?

However, you do not have control over your teammate’s decision. The best thing you can do is to respect it, and let him be.

Accept your teammate’s decision
Accepting your teammate’s decision will be very helpful for you to move on. Just so you know, you might respect his decision, but deep inside you, you are still greatly devastated upon his decision to leave the team. As long as the painful effects still hunt you, you can never say that you have truly accepted his decision. The true meaning of acceptance is letting go of bad feelings and move on to a better future.

Sometimes, an individual’s immaturity puts him in a situation that is difficult for him to accept things. Indeed, when you get to a really tough situation, it is honestly difficult to have that sense of acceptance. However, as well-trained players, they should apply the discipline and mental toughness they have learned to deal with this circumstance.

Be strong
No matter what happens, you must remain to be strong. Losing a teammate who is close to you and is a very talented player as well is very hard. You deal about not getting to bond with him as usual, both on and off the court. Teams are like families and having someone quit means losing a family member. It can significantly affect the team, therefore players must learn to be strong in dealing this kind of situation. Being strong keeps the player hold on to his grounds and enables him to go on performing as he should be. Otherwise, if you let the effects sting you badly, you might not be able to stand up and play your basketball game, leading to a more serious team problem.

Move on
Like any other problems in life, after dealing with, moving on is the best choice. The reality is that you are still in the team. You still have that responsibility to do your job as a coach or player. You know, you can better perform your task when you have completely moved on. Do not get disappointment eat you up. Stand up, grab the ball and get to work.

Continue to do your best
Remain the way you are even without your teammate. Continue to be consistent in playing your game. Your teammate’s quitting the team episode is done. You are not yet done. Do not let that episode stop you from doing your best.

Be positive about your teammate’s decision. You should know your teammate well to hope that someday you would still have the chance to play basketball together or meet in friendship. Your hope will not cut the relationship you had with your teammate, especially in basketball. Furthermore, this can help you accept his decision and move on.

Losing a teammember is very discouraging. However, things like these really happen. You cannot be together at all times. Well, I can say that these are just challenges that test your character as a coach and player. Succeeding this test will polish you to be a more mature sports person.

[info_box]Picture credit: DanDeChiaroCreative Commons Attribution[/info_box]