Regardless of the sport, certain team dynamics are common across all sports and all backgrounds. There are universal traits that make individuals likable by the whole team and coach. Here are 5 qualities that make a good teammate:

1. Be coach-able
Being coach-able isn’t limited to what your coach can teach you; your teammates who may be more skilled or more experienced may have something new to teach you too. A huge part of being a good teammate is being humble enough to recognize that you don’t know everything and that there may be someone else that can give you advice. What your teammate has to offer may not always be helpful but if any of them has any insight to offer, say thank you that they have taken the time.

The advice they have for you may not always be sports in nature but may also include suggestions on managing your time between school and sports.

2. Show support
A team which is supportive of each other will always do better than a team who has individual goals and nothing in common. Support your teammate by cheering them on or high-fiving when they make a good play. Don’t laugh at them when they mess up or get on their case. You are their teammate; they don’t need someone else making them feel worse about screwing up.

Consider adjusting your phrasing always to highlight the positive. Avoid negative phrases like “don’t miss” and say “focus!” instead. Good teammates support each other and don’t put added pressure on one another.

3. Know your role
When you know your role for the team, your teammates know what they can expect from you. Being accountable for your actions and your position shows that you are taking responsibility for the part you play in the success of the team. It also means that you respect the roles that your other teammates hold and have no intentions of overstepping or crossing boundaries. This is particularly important for a team where a captain is identified and also true for certain players who may try to assume the position of someone else on the team.

4. Communication
Being able to talk with your coach and teammates is perhaps one of the more important traits of being a good teammate. Communication on and off the court is crucial to the success of the team. To be a good teammate, try to maintain authentic connections outside of practices and games by being friendly when you see them at school or in your neighborhood. Being able to talk freely and openly to your teammate is essential if you want to communicate on game day.

5. Have fun and a positive attitude
Show your teammates that you are passionate about the success of your team and the sport you all love. Ultimately, to be a good teammate means to be a good sport, a good friend, and an overall good person who has the right attitude and knows how to have fun.