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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Debating Team Work

There is an old saying that sometimes you have to take one of the team, what do we really mean and understand by this expression that has been said repeatedly by millions over the decades? This expression has been used in every day life ranging from school life to professional life to the field of competitive sports. It implies that at times, in order for the good or even benefit of your team sometimes you have to make sacrifices, be it big or small. I am guessing this is where this expression comes from, where being patient and making the odd compromise for the team so that the team benefits. In sports, be it cricket, baseball or football, we often see players for the sake of their teams indulge in selfless acts to prove that they are team players as opposed to individualistic super stars.

In sports like football or basketball, the most famous sports persons are always those that have a lot to show for through their individual effort. This comes in the form of goals scored in football and slam dunks (I do hope this is the correct expression) in basketball, where the star players are those with the highest of these in their respective sport. Attention of the same magnitude is hardly given to those individuals within the same team who make the extra ordinary effort of those individuals possible. The top goal scorers in football or point scorers in basketball would not be able to make their effort possible without the support of the entire team and its effort, it all begins with the first person with possession passing the ball, which eventually heads to the star player that eventually makes the goal or the slam dunk.

Collective team work is is also very evident in the sub continent's most famous sport 'Cricket', where champion batsmen and bowlers who have records to brag about, would not be in the record books without support from the other end. For example, batsmen like Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting would not have been able to stack up all these runs if batsmen on the other end kept faltering and not supporting them in partnerships, same goes for bowlers like Brett Lee and Wasim Akram, who had reliable opening ball partners who kept the runs dry while they brought down the opposition wickets. Every weak and strong link contributes to team and individual effort, they are there to compliment one another one. These star cricketers would not have been able to compile records if other team members decided to be selfish and pursue their own agenda, their own targets, goals etc. A bowler who doesn't take many wickets or batsmen that do not score a lot of runs are still making a contribution to make the star performers get what they want. Some are playing under injury or poor physical form just to be there with their team mates and make a difference even with their minimal contributions.

So this tempts us to come back to the original question, does it really merit making sacrifices and taking one for the team, for the time being, this question remains inconclusive and worthy of further debate.

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