Words & Sports

3 Reasons Why a Bad Teammate Hurts Your Game

and how it impacts your business

Watch an NFL game. You won’t see a collection of individual players each hoping to score a touchdown—instead, each teammate has his own role. All of them share a common objective and they all win or lose together.
When a player does start doing his own thing, it hurts the team.
For example, take Odell Beckham, Jr., wide receiver for the New York Giants. In a game this year against the Minnesota Vikings, he decided to put his energy into taunting the other team, instead of doing his job. He’s a talented player, but I could count on one hand the passes he caught that day. Of course, the Giants lost that day.

You’ll find the same scenario in business. One bad teammate can undermine the company’s entire strategy. Let’s look at how:

1. Wasting Time
When an athlete stops cooperating with a sports team, the team’s effectiveness goes down. The coach has to waste time talking to the player, trying to get them back on board. In business, you face the same problem. Because you can’t trust the employee to follow the same plans and strategies as the other team members, you have to expend time and energy managing them individually. That’s time and energy you can’t necessarily afford.

2. Looking Out for Number One
Someone who only cares about their own success, by definition, won’t really be interested in yours. You can’t trust such a person to help you or to pursue team goals, unless doing so has an immediate and obvious benefit for him or her. But in a functioning team, everyone has to be willing to work for the good of someone else at least sometimes. Ultimately, when the team wins, so does everyone in it—that’s something a bad team member does not understand, so you’ll find your team winning less often.

3. Lowering Morale
Unfortunately, the rest of your team will suffer because of this teammate. The extra work this person forces on the others will breed resentment. The bad team member’s refusal to give credit to others can also breed resentment. Listening to the self-centered complaints of this person could also spread bad feelings about your company and other employees. Bad attitudes are contagious. If your team starts resenting each other and you, you’re not going to be able to work together.

Only you can evaluate whether a team member has truly gone sour. If you find that they have, you’ll likely need to pull them aside and remind them about the big picture—or, if that does not help, suggest that they work elsewhere.


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3 Main Points:

  • When an employee doesn’t cooperate with the team, they becomes a waste of time and energy for the business. 
  • A person who only looks out for themselves will lead to the team winning less often.
  • Lower morale and resentment will soon follow a bad teammate.



  • SeatGeek: A great place to find tickets for the next big game!
  • BlueHost: Hosting service that we use at KazSource and Sportsepreneur.
  • Envato: Themes for your website that all your teammates can use.
  • ConvertKit: Email marketing made easy so you and your teammates can focus.
  • Leadpages: Leadpages generates leads and sales for your business on the web, in emails, via text messaging, and on social media.


Image By Zoroloco, edited, at English Wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons