The Plague of the “One way Teammate” by: Jared Weiner
You often here the debate if Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a team sport or an individual sport. Here is the answer, when it’s time to compete you physically fight your opponent alone, man against man or women against women, but the journey leading up to that moment makes this a team sport.
Nobody has ever achieved a gold medal or any medal for that matter training alone. It’s impossible, we need our teammates to be training partners, drilling partners, positive influencers and to be there for us during the ups and down moments in our training camp.
As a coach nothing drives me more crazy than the one-way teammate. What do I mean by a one-way teammate? A student comes to me and says coach I have a big event coming up and I really want to put in a serious camp, can you help me? It’s my job and passion to help the student, so I arrange the best training sessions and technical refinement in my power to help the student achieve their goals. They have non-stop access to high level students who by the way are not preparing for any tournaments but they sacrifice their time and body for their teammate so they can succeed and reach their goals.
The student competes and does well, posts their podium pictures on Facebook and Instagram and celebrates their victory by posting their after tournament meal photo a few hours later. We all see it on a daily basis and I have no problem with this at all, but through all banter and celebrations there is not one Thank You or sign of gratitude towards the team who bled and gave them all they had on a daily basis. First sign of a one-way teammate.
To make matters worse a month or two later I have a group of students including myself getting ready to go through hell preparing for a tournament of our own, but that teammate who you just worked so hard for is nowhere to be found. Excuse after excuse why they can’t come in to train and the worst excuse of them all is “well I’m not competing this month”. This is a major sign of a selfish one-way teammate.
These type of actions breed animosity between teammates and training partners and I do my best to try to correct this behavior early or send people packing. Nobody is above the team and I don’t care what belt you wear, selfish is selfish at the end of the day.
Don’t be a one-way teammate, it’s not good for anyone. Jiu-Jitsu is a two-way street and we need each other to make us all better.