Thursday, 23 May 2024

Five Ways to Be a Better Teammate

Top coaches and accomplished players in the world of volleyball all agree that establishing yourself as a positive influence on your teammates is a crucial factor in achieving success on the court. In this article, we will explore what five experts have to say about how you can become a better teammate. By following their advice, you can enhance your skills, build trust, and create a supportive team environment.

Acknowledging Life Beyond Volleyball

According to David Kniffin, the head coach of the University of California-Irvine Men’s Volleyball team, it is essential to recognize that life transcends volleyball. Understanding the factors that may impact your teammates’ performance, such as emotional baggage or external challenges, is vital. By having open conversations about expectations, desires, and personal circumstances, you can foster trust and respect within the team.

Excelling in the Beach Game

For those playing beach volleyball, Jeff Conover, coach for the 2012 Olympic beach silver medalists Jen Kessy and April Ross, emphasizes the importance of excelling in the little things. In this context, being a great partner means providing accurate sets, making accurate calls, covering attacks, and offering informative feedback on the opposing team’s tactics. By doing so, you empower your partner to focus on their role, leading to increased confidence and efficiency.

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The Power of Countenance

Former University of Nebraska Women’s Volleyball Head Coach, Terry Pettit, highlights the impact that an individual’s countenance can have on a team. A player who consistently displays strong, confident movements and effective communication can significantly influence the team’s dynamics. Their positive attitude and demeanor can help the team transition from a mere aspiration to executing their game plan.

Effective Communication

Lindsey Berg, a three-time U.S. indoor Olympian as a setter and two-time silver medalist, believes that effective communication is the key to being a better teammate. Motivating, trusting, supporting, and playing hard all hinge on communication. Understanding your teammates and finding the right language to motivate and improve their performance is crucial. Being honest, sincere, and genuine in your communication can lead to team success, even if the truth may be difficult to hear at times.

Be Yourself and Inspire Others

Brian Thornton, a setter for the U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team, suggests that being yourself and staying true to your personality is essential. When you embrace who you are and play your game authentically, people are naturally drawn to you. Your unique qualities and style of play can inspire and influence your teammates, ultimately fostering a stronger and more cohesive team environment.


Q: What can I do to be a better teammate in volleyball?
A: To be a better teammate in volleyball, consider the following:

  • Acknowledge and understand your teammates’ personal challenges and emotions.
  • Excel in the little things, such as accurate sets and informative feedback.
  • Display a positive attitude and confident movements to inspire your team.
  • Communicate effectively, motivating and supporting your teammates.
  • Be yourself and embrace your unique qualities.
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Q: How does effective communication contribute to being a better teammate?
A: Effective communication is crucial in being a better teammate. It helps motivate and improve your teammates’ performance. By understanding their needs and finding the right words to encourage and support them, you can create a positive team dynamic. Honest and sincere communication, even if it may be challenging at times, can lead to improved team performance and success.


To become a better teammate in volleyball, it’s important to acknowledge the personal challenges your teammates may face outside of the game. By establishing open communication and trust, you can create a supportive environment. Excelling in the little things, providing accurate sets and offering informative feedback, can make a significant difference in your partner’s confidence and efficiency. Additionally, the power of countenance and effective communication play key roles in inspiring and motivating your teammates. Lastly, being yourself and embracing your unique qualities can make you a natural leader and someone your teammates gravitate towards. By implementing these strategies, you can enhance your skills and contribute to a stronger, more cohesive volleyball team. Visit for more information and resources on becoming a better teammate.