Mizzou’s Team First Mindset

We can never reiterate it enough. To be a member of the Missouri Tiger team, you have to care about winning. However, anyone can care about winning. It’s what you do to win that matters. Not everyone will take the steps required to be a winner. You must be committed to being a great player. Likewise, you must be accountable to your teammates. All great organizations are marked by a desire to achieve. Nothing can compare with the thrill of a team pulling together for one common goal: winning. We live as a team, and we lose as a team. There are absolutely no divisions in wins or losses. Winning as a team is what makes football worthwhile, and it is something everyone on the team must contribute to.

A good team player gives 100 percent. He shows courage on and off the field. He makes no mental mistakes. He cares about the team above all else. In doing so, he demonstrates loyalty to all.

There is no formula to being committed, but there are ingredients to become better. Here are the ingredients:

–       Academically responsible, even for your teammates

–       Great work ethic, even for your teammates

–       Positive attitude, even for your teammates

–       Unselfish, especially toward your teammates

–       Totally committed to all that we do, obviously to and for your teammates


When you or your teammates don’t perform, you can expect a lot to happen. You can expect responsibility on all accounts. But what should you do if a teammate continually fails to meet expectations, even after receiving training, encouragement, and opportunities to grow? Well, you need to give that person an opportunity to find his or her own level somewhere else.

If you are a team leader, you cannot avoid dealing with team links. It comes with the territory. Team members who do not carry their own weight not only slow down the team, but they also impact your leadership. Here are some of the things that happen when a weak link remains on the team.

1. The stronger members identify the weak one

A weak link cannot hide (except in a group of weak people). If you have strong people on your team, they always know who is not performing up to the level of everyone else. Remember this, a weak link always eventually robs the team of momentum and potential.

2. The stronger members have to help the weak one

If your people must work together as a team in order to do their work, then they have two choices when it comes to a weak teammate. They can ignore the person and allow the team to suffer, or they can help him or her and make the team more successful. If they are team players, they will help.

3. The stronger members come to resent the weak one

Whether strong team members help, the result will always be the same: resentment. No one likes to lose or fall behind because of the same person.

If your team has a weak link that cannot or will not rise to the level of the team, and you have done everything you can to help the person to improve, then you’ve got to take action. Take the advice of authors Danny Cox and John Hoover. If you need to remove somebody from the team, be discreet, be clear, be honest, and be brief. If you start to have second thoughts before or afterward, remember this: As long as weak link is a part of the team, everyone else on the team will suffer.