OPINION | Talent is not the only thing that makes a successful team 

     That team has talent. That team is unstoppable because they have all the skills. What about the team that knows how to communicate effectively? What about the team that never quits or works the hardest?  

     A team can be great with qualities other than pure talent. I have always been told as an athlete that a team is great because they have skill, speed and coordination, but there is so much more to a team that no one seems to take into consideration.  

     Of course, there are teams that are driven by their talent, but you also have the teams that focus on communication and never stop playing hard until the very end.  

     That’s how my team always competed with other teams. We could be down by 20 points, and we would never stop playing to the best of our ability. Other teams prepared harder when they were getting ready to compete against us. 

     From experience, I played against teams that had better ball handling skills, were fast and overall, they were better than us. Because they knew they could beat us easily and we also knew we might lose, we played until the very end and worked harder than the other team.  

     By the end of the game, our team was communicating effectively and working so hard that we got in the other team’s head and we beat them. 

     Communication is the key to a winning team. Working hard is what drives a team to become successful and win. If you know you might not win, you have nothing to lose which means you can put everything on the line and play your best.  

     As soon as a team starts communicating with each other and plays to their full potential, they can beat anyone. You don’t need all the skills to be a successful player. Even a player that has the best ball handling skills may never use them all in a game.  

     A great team is a team that shows their dedication from start to finish. They never quit. You never see them get down on themselves. They continue to encourage each other even through the tougher games.  

     “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships,” said Michael Jordan. You can play smart and work together and get further rather than having talent that only gets you halfway.  

     No one seems to realize that a team is driven by more than their own talent. Coaches recruit players that have skills and put up big points, but they should also look into players that know how to play smart, work hard and are capable of connecting with their teammates. 

     I am not saying I would be college athlete material but I worked hard, knew how to communicate with my team and had a great shot. I wasn’t the player with the most talent or who put up the most points. 

     That’s where athletes like me are overlooked, even though our hard work and dedication made us feared by other teams. We were unpredictable. We were unstoppable.