One of the biggest frustrations faced by athletes, and employees alike, is the desire to have a more prominent role on their team or in their work place. Whether, it’s an athlete that wishes they were a starter or an employee who desires to become a manager, the frustrations can be the same. It can be frustrating when you have been working hard and maybe your boss isn’t recognizing your efforts with an opportunity to earn more money, or your great ideas often go unheard. These are common feelings and something that is shared by almost all members of any team, whether that is a sports team or an office team. I have been through this many times personally as well. While I still haven’t reached the pinnacle, I know that I need to be great in my current role before I can focus on whatever the next opportunity might be. That is a difficult challenge for anyone to face, to focus on your current role while battling through your daily frustrations. However, it is an important challenge to overcome in order to help keep your eye on your future goals.
It is important to remember that all positions on any team have value. But that value will really only be displayed by you. It reminds me of the famous quote, “There are no small roles, just small actors.” I can assure you Leonardo DiCaprio’s first role as an actor was not as the lead role in Titanic. He had to be great at a small part before he was able to land the big part. It takes a series of small parts, small steps in the right direction to make progress. Always remember that you shouldn’t focus on your next job until you do a great a job where you are at.
A team will never achieve success if the team members are in a constant state of bickering over who should have the star roles. An example is the recent success of the Cleveland Cavaliers and role player Tristan Thompson. Thompson was looked upon to do a lot of little things to help the team become successful, things that often go unnoticed by fans. He famously stated, “My role on the team is not to be a star, but to do the dirty work...I just want to be a star in that role.”
That’s a great attitude to have in sports and in life. Be a star in your current situation. Be a great parent, be a great brother or sister. Be great at whatever role you have. Remember you can’t focus on that promotion or that big raise until you do a great job where you’re at.
~Sean Hogan has coached hockey at the international and collegiate levels for over ten years. He speaks at numerous events about culture building and healthy lifestyles. He holds a Master’s of Science Degree in Recreation and Sports Science with an emphasis on Coaching Education from OHIO University.