What We Like to Think About
Life is a series of relationships.
Beyond athletics, a big part of our success is determined by our ability to work, relate, and function as a member of a team.
There is a correlation between being a solid teammate and performing at a high individual level.
It takes humility to the be the kind of teammate our teammates need us to be. Failure and success are both opportunities to grow.
The impact of a coach endures.
What We’re About…Mission
Just to make sure we’re clear, let me go ahead and say that winning matters. If winning doesn’t matter to you, then you might be in the wrong place; however, it’s hard to win if we can’t recognize the significance of relationships — if we don’t believe that Teammates Matter.
I played only 59 minutes during my entire career at Wake Forest. Our teams were special -- Coach Prosser built a culture where knowing you were loved always ran parallel to the relentless challenges of getting better. In my four years as a walk-on, I never missed one game or practice, and I was part of an ACC championship team.
I don’t remember the score to one single game, but maybe like you, when I look back on my career, the most meaningful moments came in the wake of unfavorable events; loss, injury, disappointment, conflict, pressure. Inevitably, someone always came alongside me to pick me up, to tell me to get over myself, to persevere, to be more accountable…to keep going. Perhaps it was a coach, a trainer, a manager, or my teammates doing the encouraging, but in all cases, I realized that self was stronger with a team and that even personal achievement is all for not if it’s not shared.
This team-centered platform exists because at Teammates Matter we love learning about what makes a team great. We don’t have a step by step program to get you a specific result, but we know the correlation between true team and optimal performance is great and that ultimately, whether in business or sport, we recognize that a big part of a person’s success is dependent on their ability to work, relate, and function as a member of a team.
How This Got Started...
Every year before the season would start, Coach would gather us all in a huddle. With a basketball in his right hand, he would say, “Fellas, enjoy going to the gym…enjoy working hard… enjoy all there is to enjoy about the game we love because one day no matter who you are—no matter how many points you score or how good of a career you have…one day, the ball will stop bouncing.
- Teammates Matter
When Coach Prosser would say these words, I’m not sure any of us really understood what it would mean for our careers to be over, nor could we fathom what it would look like to lose our coach too early. At the age of 55, Coach Prosser unexpectedly died of a heart attack. As former players and coaches spoke at his funeral, nobody talked about statistics or how Coach had made it to the mountaintop of college coaching. Everyone talked about seemingly insignificant moments - where maybe Coach Prosser took time to write someone a note. He always said, “Never delay gratitude” – he had a great gift of recognizing what was important in each moment. W-I-N – What’s important now?
Whether in our food business or within my own family, the lessons I learned in the locker room and on the court continue to be relevant. I recognize I’m not a high school or college coach, so I won’t try to play that role in my writing. But as a player, I want to share what I’ve learned from successful coaches and someone who just loves learning about team.
And while I’m a proud father of three and especially excited about my new children’s book coming out in the Spring, you won’t hear me offering parenting advice on this platform. (I’m smarter than that) but I might share some of the things that encouraged me as a kid.
In Memory of Coach Skip Prosser (1950-2007)
I suppose one can always recruit another player to score points or hire another coach to win games — we can do this because jobs and positions are replaceable. But people — their stores, their character, and their love — are not.
Coach reminded us all that the true treasure of our sports experience would always lie in memories of teammates and coaches: pain we once felt, fears we overcame, laughter we could not suppress, and happiness we could not explain. No picture would ever be clear enough and no trophy shine bright enough to capture the joy and the lasting impact of having relationships and being a member of a TEAM.