What It Means To Be A Teammate

(Photo by Paul Hayes)

I recently read a blog post from a proud father after his son received an award at the United States Naval Academy Sprint Football banquet.  The award is named after former player Brandon “Bull” Barrett, a Marine Captain who made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of our country in Afghanistan.  Regrettably, I do not know the young man who received the award nor do I know the hero who it is named after, but the description of the award struck me as it so perfectly encapsulates what it is to be a teammate.  This award goes to the individual that plays for neither glory nor accolades but for the men on his left and right flank. A teammate, a brother, and the man we all want in our corner.  

I wonder if the recipient of this prestigious award is an offensive lineman because it so perfectly explains the job description.  There is no glory in the position.  Their reward is when the five work as one for the benefit of the team and the protection of their teammates.  At the end of every Alercio OLine Clinic, we circle up and I remind the players why they are so exceptional.  In a few short weeks, I will share these words with a group of young men who will come together at the Hun School for the Spring 2023 Alercio OLine Clinic. While the preponderance of the day focuses on physical nuances, skills, and the thought processes around execution, we’ll also take the opportunity to reinforce elements of team building, character, and concepts we expect to go far beyond the gridiron. I genuinely hope and pray these student-athletes will take a team-first, selfless approach to the betterment of their respective teams, but even more so, I look forward to them carrying that mindset forward to the families, schools, and companies that make up the teams of their future.

Coach Rich Alercio is available to discuss coaching philosophy, X’s & O’s, or teach his O-Line “techniques in the trenches.” Contact Coach at richalercio@gmail.com and share http://www.olineskills.com with your colleagues and friends. Thanks for supporting this blog and joining our conversations, and as always, thanks for your time!  

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