Being the Hardest Working Player on the Team

the hardest working player
Ben Grey

Why being your best gives you the power to excel at your game

By Ian Goldberg

The hardest working player is the one that gives it their very best.

If your child joined a new team this year, then you may know how I’ve been feeling as a sports parent.

My daughter was invited to join a fifth-grade travel team this season, where all of the other girls on the team had been playing together for a full year. So my fun, athletic, confident daughter was suddenly the nervous, insecure new kid on the team trying to prove herself.

Without a doubt my daughter started the season cautiously and with lots of hesitation on the ice. So it didn’t take long for every family member to start offering her their unsolicited advice:

“Be more aggressive out there” said her mom.

“Shoot more and you’ll score more goals” her grandma offered.

“Show off your best moves” said her older sister.

But when all of that noise died down, I shared some priceless and timeless advice with my daughter that I learned at a young age: “Forget about being the best on the ice, scoring the most points or having the most wins,” I told her. “Just make sure you are the hardest working player on the team.” I told her the wins, the goals, and the success will come eventually. But the best way to earn the respect of your new teammates and coach is to be the hardest working player….at practices, at games, at tournaments.

Music to His Ears

As a sports parent, it’s rare that your child welcomes and implements your suggestions. But in this case, my daughter immediately made it her mission to be the hardest working player on the team (and not just in this sport). And to her dad’s delight, she had her breakout game yesterday. Would you believe that the coach’s words to her after the game were, “Hey, you worked harder than anyone out there today.” My daughter was proud, but for me that was music to my ears.

Wishing you a successful and safe sports season.

10 Things That Require Zero Talent

  • Being on time
  • Work ethic
  • Effort
  • Body language
  • Energy
  • Attitude
  • Passion
  • Being coachable
  • Doing extra
  • Being prepared

Ian Goldberg is the founder and CEO of iSport360. He is recognized as a thought leader in the youth sports industry. This article is adapted from a post published on is reader supported. When you buy via the links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more.

Got something to say? Tell us!

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.