Playing a Division I sport has taught me a lot of things that will carry over into the rest of my life, but I think one of the most important things is that its taught me how to work with a team. When I arrived on campus, I didn't know a single one of my teammates, and within a week we were practicing and working together like we had played with each other our whole lives.
My Division I team is like my family, you learn to respect everyone for their differences and work out all of the differences you may have. A team is built of a bunch of different personalities, and each of these individuals have to learn how to work together and mesh to accomplish a common goal.
Being able to work as a team requires a lot of give and take. You have to give up your individuality and begin to work towards something as a group. This is a skill that will be very valuable later in life. When at work, in a family, or in any group really, it is crucial that you know how to work with others.
On a successful team, there will be leaders and there will be the individuals that need to be led. It is important that the leader is established early on and that this leader does what is necessary to be successful. Being the leader is not always an easy task. The leader, typically named the captain, has to put their foot down, and do a lot of things that others may not want to do. They have to be the one to speak up when there is a problem, and they might have to be the bearer of bad news. It is a huge responsibility and not everyone is cut out for it.
Working as a team is a skill that I have learned over the years. I have been on my share of unsuccessful teams, and I have learned what not to do. I think it is a very valuable skill to have.