I asked a few of my volleyball players this question and made sure they knew I didn't want an answer out loud. I just wanted them to analyze their personal philosophies to promote a team-first mentality. The question was, "would you rather play every point of every match on a losing team or play less time on a winning team?" Okay, so there may be a bit of fallacy in that question since there are probably a few more options, but the application to life might just outweigh the use of logic.
My sports journey was modest at best. Yes, I made all conference in softball for second base, but that was because our bunt coverage could not be beat, which wasn't really my doing either. Our catcher and pitcher were so on point, all I had to do was stand on first base and catch their throws. It was so stressful, but their skills helped me get an award for being where I was supposed to be.
In the sport I love the most, volleyball, I didn't get to be a starter or play very much until my junior year (thanks to Margaret for breaking her leg), and boy was that a fun season for me. But with the limited amount of actual game time I played in four years, it never once occurred to me not to be part of the team. I loved the game, I was a contributor in practice, and I had some shining moments here and there. I never considered it a waste of time because my whole purpose was to play a game I loved. More importantly through that experience, I took away knowledge. Knowledge of the game, knowledge of athletes, knowledge of people, and knowledge of how a team works. That knowledge helped shape my career.
When I think that if I had said no to being part of a team because I didn't get the playing time I wanted (notice I used the word 'wanted' not the word 'deserved'), I realize I would have missed out on even more special and meaningful times. Thank God I said yes.
So would you rather be on a losing team while being the star or would you rather contribute to the success of many by doing the job they ask of you? If your answer is both - you might need some more lessons on what Team is all about.