We Before Me
BY HAYLEY NIGRELLE | EDITORIAL INTERN
Teamwork is a major part of any sport, job or even just life in general. In my opinion, teamwork is when a group of people work cohesively to obtain a common goal, and to not let pride and egos get in the way. From playing multiple sports over throughout my life to playing basketball at a higher level for 11 years, I have observed that teamwork makes a huge difference between individual players playing a sport to a team playing together as one.
A player must think of the team as a whole and being a united front being inclusive and listening to everyone’s voices while being respectful. The difference between, She/He/They should have…to My bad or I didn’t… is huge. Pushing the blame of a personal mistake onto fellow teammates causes divides and hurt feelings. By taking blame or even owning up to the mistake, the team can work together to make sure the mistake doesn’t happen again. This is a message that many sports team focus on: one person cannot win a game or a championship, but a team can. I once was playing in a basketball game and the team we were playing was falling apart. Their point guard wasn’t passing or talking to any of her teammates and her teammates were visibly angry with her and the game. When working with a team, you should no longer be concerned with self progress instead of team progress.
What does “We Before Me” mean? What role does it play in sports? Chris Blake, a writer for LiveStrong.com wrote an article titled, “10 Things to Remember Before Playing an Important Basketball Game.” Blake lists common recommendations such as rest and practicing at game speed, but he includes We before Me. Blake explains: “We Before Me: A good teammate makes the players around him better. An important game may entice you to try to take over and do too much.” I have experienced the moments of a important game enticing a player to try to take over and do to much. Teammates will tend to not facilitate passing to teammates and will just take the ball into the paint with four people around them, leading to a turnover. I have played with good ball handlers that are so self concerned that they won’t call a play or pass the ball. They will drive to their dominant hand, nine times out of ten, and not make the layup or shot. Many teams try to prevent this from happening, and I wanted to find a team that had implemented the mindset of “We Before Me.”
When I started to research girls’ teams that had implemented the mindset of “We Before Me” into their team philosophy, I came across the Chaska girls basketball team. Their coach, Tara Seifert, approaches playoff season with “We Before Me.” In the article about the basketball team, Seifert talks about how their season has formed over the months. When talking about how they are tackling their post season play off games Seifert says: “We're working really hard on our passing, taking care of the basketball, working as a team. Tonight we had 21 assists to 12 turnovers. That's our best assist-to-turnover ratio this season.” When teams have a high assist statistic and work on passing, that means that they facilitate the ball to the other players on the court.
As teams near the end of their season or are reaching closer to regionals or State, players’, and even coaches’ emotions heighten. As this happens, making sure to keep in mind the “We Before Me” part of the game is crucial. The more important and crucial the games are, teamwork can change the whole outcome. For every game it is important for players to reach their full potential. If a player is having a killer night, then giving them the ball may have a good outcome; however, but if a player who isn’t doing the little things for the team then it is good to facilitate the ball. I believe “We before Me” is possible by working together to set up players for success.