In most cases, players have to WALK together and WORK together before they can WIN together.
WALKING relationship - Initiate a walking relationship with your teammates.
This is generally done off the court. What do you know about your teammates? Their families? Their likes and dislikes? Their struggles? The benefits of walking with your teammates include the biblical admonition of "bearing one another's burdens." For you to know how to encourage your teammates, you need to walk with them. Criticism requires no relationship with the one you are targeting, but if you walk with someone, you will be inclined to encourage him rather than criticize him. In addition, those who walk with someone else will also be inclined to pray for him.
WORKING relationship - Cultivate a working relationship with your teammates.
A walking relationship with teammates facilitates a working relationship with them. This dynamic generally happens in practices, in the weight room, on the track, and wherever else you work together. How much more inclined are we to work hard with our teammates when we first walk with them? Working together builds unity, establishes trust, and defers our own interests to those of the successes of our team. Do you like to go to work? If you say "yes," you like the players around you and are willing to be patient with their weaknesses and embrace their strengths for the benefit of team success.
WINNING relationship - establish a winning relationship with your teammates.
Contrary to "bottom line" enthusiasts, the scoreboard is not the end-all in athletics. We are obligated in obedience to "run, that we may obtain"[the prize]; however, many "wins" exist apart from the final score.
Team goals that preclude a winning score are often "small wins" that, in time, accumulate and ultimately translate into wins on the scoreboard. These "small wins" share a common characteristic: teammates. A winning relationship with fellow teammates happens because the walking and the working relationships have already been established and are continually being enriched.
Now that we are in the off-season (on-season), individual workouts take center stage. As you hone your skills, eliminate weaknesses, and strengthen your body during these months, consider what steps you will take to walk and work with your teammates. Have you thought about initiating those first two w’s – walking and working - with your teammates? Imagine what could happen if a team was already walking and working together going into next season! “Small wins” would undoubtedly produce wins on the scoreboard. More importantly, the team would be able to fulfill its true mission better than ever before: to use the platform of athletics in ministry opportunities all around us. And it would be a true team effort!