Not many of us ever stop to consider the team dynamics as we play during our weekly league time. Bowling as a team is supposed to be just that, bowling as a team. The simple fact is that people forget the team dynamic during league. We are all in this together, if one person has a negative attitude then it brings down the team as a whole. Also don’t forget the role your team captain plays in keeping the team on track and positive feedback, as well as helpful hints for the game.
Let us consider an example: (names of the guilty have been changed, so they don’t get mad at me) You are feeling good and throwing the ball well, then lets say a team member, lets call them bowler number one and two, suddenly have a problem with each other and begin with what can only be described as a childlike fit. Team member one decides to take out their personal frustrations on team member two and since team member two hasn’t had time to thicken their skin (so to speak) it blows up into a third grade argument. A full tantrum ensues with hands flailing and cursing galore this rift ends up with one of the team members ignoring the entire team, acting selfish and infantile while the other pouts and says “I give up, I don’t even want to be on this team anymore”. This attitude, along with the other team member, has now affected the whole dynamics of the team which translates from a easy win in game 1 to an epic failure in games two and three. There is a ‘ME’ in team which means you should put a personal effort into winning as part of a team but there is no ‘I’ in team which should remind your that your not the only person on the team and a poorly placed ”I GIVE UP” is completely out of line. To function in a team as a whole, it is necessary to leave the personal, work related and ‘my home life stinks’ or ‘my wife is making me crazy’ stuff at home, unless she‘s bowling with you. Bowling is a way of escaping that day to day pressure and relieve stress but not onto your fellow teammates. A team can only do what it is given, only make up if the team works together as a whole unit. If one just simply gives up, it is not a very pleasant way to spend the night, not just the losing spiral but having a terrible time doing it as well.
Take a deep breath before you head out to bowl league. Eat something, take a valium, have a shot when you get to the alley or speak to a friend or therapist but do not take out your problems on your teammates, they may drop their ball on your foot. Your team cares about you, usually, or else you wouldn’t be bowling together for 15 to 36 weeks. A team is only as strong as it sum. Make the extra effort to be there for your team and if you can’t be civil than take a night off. We all want to win but we want to have a nice night out with friends or what have you. Be considerate to your teammates and you will be surprised at how a team with the right dynamic and not the best bowlers in the world can come together and win.
Perhaps we will finish with a mantra “ I WILL BE NICE TO MY TEAMMATES AND MY TEAMMATES WILL BE NICE TO ME, WE ARE ONLY AS STRONG AS OUR DRUNKEST… OH I MEAN OUR WEAKEST LINK AND TOGETHER AND ONLY TOGETHER CAN WE WIN.”
Amen, my friend. I guess my comment would include that if these two team members were really at each others throats that bad, as a team captain, I would as each of them to pull it together and be civil or pack your balls and take the rest of the night off. You take the hit on using their average less 10 (in most cases) but it may serve as damage control and not bring the rest of the team down as far. Fortunately I have never had an internal team disaster such as this, but have had and seen such feuds between opposing team members. Either way, it really puts a damper on the night.