Having a growth mindset can be a wonderful thing, except for when it leads you to be so focused on the future that you forget to take an occasional, reflective look back at the past.

“Looking back” puts where you presently are into perspective, allows you to appreciate the progress you’ve made, and can motivate you to keep going.

With the holidays approaching and 2018 drawing to a close, this is the perfect time for everyone—myself included—to pause and reflect on the highlights of the past year.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how the Fairmont Senior High football team cleverly used the children’s book Be a Good Teammate to help them win a state championship.

I love that story. It’s very moving and it makes my heart smile. But it’s actually my second favorite “good teammate” moment of the year.

My favorite moment is a little more personal.

In early November, my daughters attended the Tremaine Dance Convention and Competition in Atlanta, where they had an opportunity to audition for a dance scholarship.

Both of my daughters compete in the junior division, so they both auditioned for the same scholarship. For obvious reasons, this sort of competition can be a potentially tricky situation for a parent.

My eldest daughter, Laken, did well, but was eliminated during one of the audition’s earlier rounds. Her younger sister, Lakota, made the final cut and would eventually go on to win a scholarship. I was proud of Lakota, however, I was more proud of something else that happened during the auditions.

Shortly after the finalists were announced, judge Laurie Johnson interrupted the session and summoned my eldest daughter to the stage. Laurie then proceeded to recognize Laken, in front of everyone, for her encouraging response to her little sister’s success.

As Laurie eloquently put it, Laken “jumped for joy” when Lakota’s name was read.

I wasn’t allowed in the room during the auditions, so I didn’t get to witness Laurie’s comments firsthand. Fortunately, someone happened to capture them on video and later shared this with me:

Laurie is an accomplished dancer and choreographer and is well respected within the dancing community. She has worked with a lot of famous dancers, including Gregory Hines and Savion Glover.

To have a complete stranger recognize your child for doing something that is so important to you is special. But to have someone with her background and pedigree do it is beyond measure.

I don’t share this story to brag about my daughters. I share it because it illustrates a critical component of being a good teammate: The ability to be happy for someone else’s success.

As Laurie says, being “joyful” for someone else’s accomplishment means “you have love in your heart.” You can’t be a good teammate if you have jealousy in your heart. You must have love. Love for your team. And love for your teammates.

Knowing that the “be a good teammate” seed I planted in my daughters’ hearts is taking root, and having someone else acknowledge this, fills my heart with love.

Thank you all for allowing me an opportunity to share that love with you over the past twelve months.

As always…Good teammates care. Good teammates share. Good teammates listen. Go be a good teammate.

Lance Loya is a leading authority on the good teammate mindset. He is a college basketball coach turned author, blogger, and professional speaker, who inspires TEAMBUSTERS to become TEAMMATES. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, or through his weekly Teammate Tuesday blog.


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