They also understand how their own abilities impact others on their team and how others impact them. They work within the construct of the team to be the most successful they can be in helping the team be the most successful it can be. They also handle the behavioral aspects of being part of a team the best way they know how. While everyone is not a great teammate in the exact same way, self-aware athletes work to be great teammates in the ways that they know best.
Unfortunately, too often we find athletes who are not self-aware. Many athletes are either oblivious to their own situations, feelings, & character, or they are only into themselves and what they do individually without any regard for their impact on their teams. These players’ lack of self-awareness can have a negative impact on their teams. It is always best for players to have a self-awareness, so they know exactly who they are and how they impact their teams.
However, the best players are also what I call “Other-Aware.” Players who are other-aware are just like the term sounds. They are aware of the other people around them, and they are tuned in to those people’s strengths, weaknesses, mindsets, and emotions. They consider everyone and even everything in their surroundings and in a variety of situations.
Being Other-Aware in Practices & Games
Other-aware players see and hear everything. They play their games with their heads up and their eyes and ears open. They are constantly processing information that is hitting them from all sources. More importantly, they are seeking out all the sources they can to better understand what is going on all around them.
However, there is more to being “other-aware” than just processing the sensory details that present themselves to these players. These players actively seek out sources to help them perform better. They are constantly “thinking the game” that they play, analyzing what would be the best option for success on any given play. They are looking out to see who has the best chance to create a successful play for their team, and they do all they can to get those players into the most advantageous position to take advantage of their chance for success.
While any player can be other-aware and can be successful because of it, certain positions in certain sports are especially important to have players who are both self-aware and other-aware. Quarterback in football and point guard in basketball come to mind immediately. These positions require people to make decisions in short amounts of time that benefit the team in a variety of ways.
Quarterbacks and point guards who have self-awareness and other-awareness will make the right decisions by putting the ball into the right place to the right people at the right time. They have enough awareness of themselves to know their own capabilities to make the right plays. At the same time, they are aware of their teammates’ capabilities so as to put them into the best position for success as well. Their team-first attitudes and awareness of their surroundings help maximize the team’s chances for success.
Consider the players in these key positions who lack self-awareness or other-awareness. They can be detrimental to team success, for they will often put themselves and the team into difficult situations that are not conducive to success. They often try to do things that are out of their skill sets or out of their teammates’ skill sets, leading to difficult moments that could have been avoided if they had self-awareness and other-awareness to know better and to make the right decision.