When he was invited to a tryout for the national team, David made the roster but his role was to sit on the bench and learn. The coach told him bluntly that though he sucked now, someday he would be amazing. When asked if that was frustrating for him, David said that of course he wanted to play, but that he accepted his role. He was happy to be a part of the team and he knew what his job was. He sat on the end of the bench and studied the playbook, soaked everything up like a sponge, and studied the players who played the same position as him. He wanted to be ready if he got a chance to prove himself, even if it was just one minute against a horrible team.
No matter what your role is, you have to be ready to go. Eventually David got his opportunity in a tournament when one of their players was taken out, and by the end of the tournament he was on the starting 4. He said that it’s important to know your role on every team you’re on – maybe your role is to give a guy a slap on the back after he makes a mistake, and maybe your role is to play only a few minutes each game. In Vancouver’s push for the playoffs, Eddie Lack said that although he wants to play, it’s always the team first. As the backup goalie he’ll do what he can to help the team win whether that means starting the game or sitting on the bench. Sometimes his role is to do what he can in the crease, and sometimes it is to support the team from the bench. If everyone knows what their role is, the frustration level doesn’t go up and down. All you can control is playing your role the best that you can. That way you can count on your teammates, and they can count on you.
Game Plan: In life we have many different roles – maybe you’re a sibling, student, athlete, and a friend. Each role comes with responsibilities, and all we can do is fulfill them the best that we can.