By Hope Morgan, 3rd dan
It’s so hard to fully grasp the full importance of teamwork, but it is one component that undoubtedly determines the success of nearly every entity. Because it’s a topic discussed so often, most people know the theory, but few practice it with the same conviction, and with the 18th Lee H. Park Team Championships just around the corner, it’s imperative that students learn and understand the key principles of teamwork, and put them into action.
First and foremost, there should be clarity as to what the team wants to achieve. How can you expect to accomplish what you desire if you’re not clear on what that is? In the absence of an objective, team members may not know their responsibilities within the group which will decrease your chances of success. In addition, team members should be willing to learn from one another. Each and every person has individual strengths and weaknesses. Some parts of the routine may come easily to you, while others require more practice and guidance. You can learn way more from your peers than you ever will alone. I know that personally, I have a hard time asking for help, but when put in a team situation, I have to develop the mentality that allows me the willingness to take advice and give some back.
Finally, it’s important that the final competition is healthy. We all know it’s fun to win, and of course we want to work towards that, but in reality, there’s always room for improvement, and as a team, your ultimate goal should really be to perform your absolute best!
While there are no “clear-cut” rules that will guarantee successful teamwork, there are several things you can take upon yourself to boost your victory. I always like to try and keep my team enthusiastic and motivated. Yes, it’s essential that everyone works hard and practices repetition, but with that hard work should come an abundance of fun. Acknowledge someone when they are progressing, and make it entertaining for the group as a whole. Increase their excitement, and I can promise your team will work harder.
And perhaps the biggest key factor to success is communication among the members of the group. Remember, you are working with several different individuals who might have different ideas and learning styles than you. What may seem right to one person may seem wrong to another. Don’t be afraid to speak up and make decisions among the group, but also be willing to listen and test out your team members’ considerations.
Much of our Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo journey is focused on the individual. Each and every student progresses at their own pace and learns at the rate best suited to them. Their advancement is largely dependent on their own personal performance. Our 8th CTI Hanmadang tournament offers students opportunities to experience the elements of teamwork. Rather than just pushing yourself for your own benefit, you’re pushing to better your team as a whole. An extra layer of motivation becomes visible as students realize they need to work to become an asset to their team, not the member dragging the team down. Furthermore, the team tournament is fantastic in developing further comradery. It’s truly friendly competition, between you, the members of your team, and your opponents. This is not an event to be missed! It’s an afternoon of fun and a lifetime of learning!