What Makes A Good Teammate?

By: Jonathan Byrd

Do you want to reach your goals? Surround yourself with like-minded people. Your training environment truly makes a difference in your success, and if you don’t believe that then your training crew isn’t worth a shit!

Having an environment that is specifically designed to help you reach your goals makes a tremendous difference on many levels. To make it work, you cannot be some douchebag training partner.

Powerlifting crews are incredibly dependent on one another for each other’s success. I had a pro total and over 12 years of training experience before I ever got to Team Samson.

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Want to know the funny part? I had to fill out a resume and answer a series of questions before I was ever invited in. They wanted to make sure that I fit in their training environment. That may seem a little extreme for some, but that is the point I am making about ensuring your training partners are on the same page as you.

I hope these five tips for not being a shit training partner helps you out!

1. Be on time! It’s not only important for you to be there and ready to go, but others are counting on you as well. That is not to say that things don’t happen and at times you may be running late, but when it’s a weekly issue there is a fucking problem! It comes down to trust and reliability. Don’t be that guy.
2. Shut the hell up! This rule is especially important if you are a new guy. Know when and where the correct times are for you to talk. Don’t carry on a conversation while you are spotting or a teammate is lifting. Be focused on the lifter and be able to provide feedback only when or if you are asked.
3. Give the teammate preparing for the meet priority. You don’t have to follow the same program or even the same exercises but always yield to the guy who is in meet prep mode. Be aware of what your teammate needs equipment wise and either work in or around that.
4. Be brutally honest. Don’t sugar coat it, if your teammate is squatting high, let them know. If their form looks like shit, might need to point out something helpful. A side note here, if you are indeed a rookie, fall back to rule #2!
5. Be prepared to help at meets. Meet day is when all the hard work pays off, and a good handler/teammate can make or break you. You might have to carry some gear, load and unload plates during warm-ups or grab lunch. You might even be forced to talk your teammate away from something stupid (pretty much anyone who has helped me at a meet can verify that) understand that it’s a meet and they will probably try to do something stupid. Suck it up; they will do it for you!

To be a good teammate, you cannot have a sense of entitlement. No matter how good you think you are, your progress can be slowed if the team is not on the same page. A great team and training environment can propel you to a whole new level; just the same, a bad one can kill your momentum. If you follow those basic rules, it will leave you in good shape with your crew. If not, I guess it’s back to the commercial gym for you and who wants to do that?

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Jonathan Byrd

Jonathan Byrd is a competitive powerlifter, with over 16 years of training experience. Byrd has been ranked nationally for the past 6 years under multiple categories. His total has ranked as high as second nationally in the 275 class. He currently has a best total of 2500lbs. Best individual lifts include a 1040lb squat, a 750lb bench press, and 735lb deadlift. His 1040lb squat ranks him 26th all-time squats at the 308 class. Jonathan currently trains out of Team Samson Gym in Jacksonville, FL. Before powerlifting Jonathan was a college athlete at Methodist University as both an all-conference football player and track athlete. Following graduation he played four years of arena football in various leagues.
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