Now when we apply that to being a part of a team then it is very obvious to see why this idea would hold value. Not every person on the team can share the same role. Let's take basketball for a second (shocker that I would use basketball as an example lol). If every person on the team thought they should be the Point Guard then who would get a majority of the rebounds and maintain the inside presence? If every person on the team thought they should be the leading scorer, then if would be very difficult to convince everyone to pass and move the ball around because everyone would be looking to get their own shot off. What if everyone who thought they should be a starter but aren't had a bad attitude about it and didn't push as hard in practice as a result? Of course all these things would be detrimental to a team’s success.
I read a book recently call Teammates Matter by Allen Williams that really illustrated this point as well. To sum it up quickly, it was written by a guy who was a very good high school basketball player and was the star of his team. He had dreams of playing college basketball but because of his lack of a physical presence, many coaches thought he would be too small to play Division 1 basketball. Long story short, he gets the opportunity to be a walk on (non-scholarship player) at the school of his dreams, Wake Forest University. He never imagined that he would have the opportunity to play here. Well, as a walk on, to be quite honest, you don't play. You are an extra guy in practice, you will most likely play only garbage minutes at the end of the game when the outcome has already been decided, and receive little to no recognition for the hard work you put in. Walk-ons are expected to do all the same things scholarship players are required to do, but the big difference is that as a walk on you will likely keep your warm ups on at the end of the bench for the entire game.
Can you imagine how different his roles were between his high school team and his college team? COMPLETELY DIFFERENT! He could have very easily given up basketball, walked away from his spot on the team and no one would think any different of him. As a matter-of-fact most people would say that would be the smarter thing to do. Instead, he took it upon himself to embrace this new role as a walk on. He worked just as hard if not harder than every player on the team. He pushed his other teammates in practice so that they would play at the best of their abilities when game time came around. Again, he DID NOT have to do this. He chose to accept and embrace this role and as a result he experienced things he never thought he would ever in a million years ever get to experience. He formed relationships that would have never been made possible without him embracing his role.
If you get the chance to read this book, please do so because it is extremely inspiring and humbling as we take a look at what it means to know and embrace your role. I'll include a link at the bottom of the post if you would like to take a look at it. In my next post I'll share a story from the Bible that illustrates the importance even more so of knowing your role...you don't want to miss it so stay tuned!