A player who shows envy or jealousy toward the starting team is often judged to have a poor attitude. In truth, envy and jealousy are natural feelings. It’s how a player handles her feelings that determines whether she is team-oriented.
Not wanting to sit on the bench is perfectly acceptable. If you’re a player who has given everything you’ve got, and it’s not good enough to be a starter, you can either quit the team and take on another challenging project, or accept the role of being a substitute, knowing you will have opportunities to contribute to your team’s success.
A substitute must learn to take satisfaction in performing steadily and reliably each time she steps on the floor including 100% effort in practice. A team can only be as good as the players they practice against. If the starters practiced against a group that was not giving it their best shot, they’d have a tough time improving. But if they have to scratch and fight every day to beat the subs, they’ll improve easily.
How a substitute handles feelings of jealousy or disappointment determines her attitude and her team spirit. A substitute should never:
- Start or listen to gossip that alienates the team against another team member
- Sulk or act disinterested while on the bench
- Put a damper on everyone’s spirits after a game because she didn’t play, or
- Grumble about having to practice with the weaker players.
The role of the substitute is difficult to master, but its rewards are worth the effort.