by: Adeel Rahman on
At the beginning of every sports season, there are different worries in the mind of the coach. However, the most important of all, and the one that will dictate if it will be a good or bad season is the performance of the team. Obviously, this is not a factor that will pass after just a few games, or even in half of the period, it must be attended during the whole year, otherwise, the objectives will not be accomplished. The efficiency of the players can be influenced by many variables, and it’s the job of the coach and his people, to work so these variables are in favor of the team at all time. Nevertheless, not all these elements are only over the shoulders of the coach, sometimes it is in the hands of one single player. But, how can a single player improve an entire team?
No matter the sport, soccer, baseball or basketball, in every team there is always one player that carries the weight of the team on his shoulders and who gives that extra boost that many times the team needs to gain victory. At the contrary of what many people believe, this doesn't mean that this player is the one who scores the most. Not at all! This is the guy that makes the team functions completely, the one that knows how to get the best of his mates and who sometimes can be a coach on the field. The influence of this player is very important since he often acts as the leader, the one that the rest of the team look up to and follow.
This player is a key stone on how the team works. Because he has an influence on the physical aspect as well as on the collective mentality of his teammates. His presence or absence can determine the development of the squad on the game. Like it is said before, this key player is not necessarily the one that stands out in the statistics because he may not be a frequent name among those players that score a lot, but instead he is the one that makes the chemistry of the team flow. This happens because he is aware of the complete squad during the whole game and which actions to take to ensure that the team works as a well-oiled machine, focused on winning each game. Maybe this player is the one with the longest trajectory on the team, which grants him the possibility to deeply know the entire time and earns him the trust of the rest of the players, the coach, the owners of the team and most important the fans.
The team's soul
When this key player is on the field, the rest of the team feels empowered to face any adversary. It is not rare that this player also counts on the respect of their rivals because of even they acknowledge him as an important athlete that motivates his teammates and gets the best of them, so frequently they will try to override him.
However, the impact this important figure has over the team is not limited to the playing field. In the lockers, the bench and even in training, this member also plays a unique role. This is where he motivates the team, where he calls them to analyze their performance, and a really important aspect, where he can bring together the team through their personal relationships. The friendship among the players of a team is a vital aspect that allows the institution to work better because the members will identify with the values they all have in common and then they will be a real unity. And in this moment the charm of the leader is essential because thanks to it, he can construct all that social connections of his partners.
This player also represents the values of the team, and it is part of its identity. It is an example to follow for the rest of the institution, so he is very watched by many people. That is why it is normal to see this player in every game, even when he can’t play for any reason. This was the case of Cristiano Ronaldo in the final game of the Euro Cup 2016, where he suffered an injury and had to leave the game. Nevertheless, this didn’t mean the end of the performance of this great player with his national team during this vital encounter. Just minutes after he left the stadium for a medical checking, he returned and encouraged his fellow teammates to give their game of their life, and this action was without a doubt a key factor for the victory of Portugal that day. That level of commitment is proper of this kind of players, and it works as inspiration for everyone else.
Absence of an irreplaceable
As it can be seen, this player is very difficult to replace, but that doesn’t mean that the coach doesn’t have to look for a possible replacement or prepare the rest of the team for a scenario in which he is absent. Even with all the preparations and the great level of this player, he is a human being and there will be a time when he may not be around. So, even when this key player improves the performance of the team in different ways and through many kinds of resources, the team must know how to work without him. This is not an easy task and there have been cases in which the team may take a time to find a new player who assumes this role.
The relevance of this kind of players is indisputable and every sports team counts on one of them. He is not necessarily a star, which is why he may not be the most famous of the team or the one with the best salary, but he is without a doubt a corner stone for the good performance of the team.