“As much as we admire solo achievement, the truth is that no lone individual has done anything of value…Nothing of significance was ever achieved by an individual acting alone.” – Dr. John Maxwell, author, The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork
While we easily see the role teamwork plays in our professional lives, or in specifically identified “team sports,” or even in our social and family life, it is not always easy to see the teamwork involved in helping us grow as martial artists. Very often, the martial arts are viewed as an individual pursuit, with little emphasis on teamwork.
However, consider all of the people involved in helping you develop your martial arts skills. There is the owner of the martial arts school you attend. This person has taken all of the risks associated with being an entrepreneur in order to provide your martial arts training. There is also your specific instructor(s). These committed people give of their time to help you develop your skills. They offer you their knowledge and expertise, and work to ensure you grow in your understanding of your martial art.
In addition, there are your classmates. These students often serve as assistant instructors. Sometimes they directly help in providing instruction. Other times, they serve as role models, demonstrating everything from proper technique and posture to the appropriate attitude of a martial artist. Without these students, your training would not be as smooth and consistent as it should.
Finally, there are your friends, family, and training partners. Sometimes these are all the same individual. Other times, there are multiple individuals filling these roles. But they all have one thing in common – they support your effort to improve yourself through the martial arts. Family and friends encourage you in your training, and celebrate each step of progress with you. Your training partner(s) helps provide motivation and accountability, so you will be able to push through those rough times that challenge us all.
The next time you’re tempted to think your progress in the martial arts is due entirely to your own efforts, consider the “team” assembled around you that makes that progress possible. Without each of those teammates, what would your martial arts experience be like? How would your training and progress be affected?
In addition, consider how many teams you are a part of as well. The fact is, you fill some of these roles for others also. Are you a good team member? Do you take your responsibilities seriously? Can your teammates rely on you?
As Dr. John Maxwell writes in his book, The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork, we are all a part of many different teams. The question is, “Will your involvement with others be successful?” Recognizing and understanding the importance of teamwork will help you answer that question with a resounding “Yes!”
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