Understanding Your Role: “Do Your Job”

Posted on November 20, 2020 by Matt Lehmann

How would you define your role on your team? Are you the primary ball handler, spot up shooter, lock down defender, hustle player, or the team leader? Everyone has a role that is extremely valuable in the success of their team. Once you figure out what that role is, it is your responsibility to accept it and embrace it. As a player, owning your role means constantly looking for ways to improve your game, being coachable, and working hard toward your goals. Coaches want players who are disciplined, accountable, and great teammates. There is tremendous value in a player who is always in the right position, who is engaged in the game at all times, and who responds in the right way.

“Do your job.” A phrase used a lot by Coach Holtmann and the coaching staff at Ohio State. These three words, simple, but effective in getting the message across that you should focus on only what you can control and do whatever it takes to help your team win. Doing your job means being prepared for when your name is called, paying attention to the little details and putting the team first. Winning is a result of one side executing better than the other and when everyone on a team is connected, bought-in and understanding of their role, it puts the team in a good position to do just that.

In my experience, I was blessed with the opportunity to be a part of some very successful teams that shared great chemistry and common goals. My role within each team may have changed each year, but the quality of my effort, attitude and confidence stayed the same every time I stepped onto the floor. In high school, having made it to two State Championships my role on the court was significant in being a leader by example, helping my team win whether it was on the offensive or defensive end. At Ohio State, my role had changed. Understanding that now it wasn’t about playing time or scoring, it was more about the experiences and being a part of something bigger than myself. Ranging from pushing the starters around in practice to help prepare them for games to cheering them on from the sidelines whether we were winning or losing. Having positive body language throughout all the ebbs and flows of a season is contagious and is what helped contribute to our success as a team.

In the video above, Geno Auriemma talks about body language and the type of player he looks for on his team. I suggest you watch it and think about how you are impacting your team, not only from a playing aspect but also as a teammate. As the legendary coach John Wooden puts it, “when no one worries about who will receive the credit, far more can be accomplished.”