There are hundreds of sports analogies that lead to the same lesson, “We play like we practice. So if we want to play better, practice better.”
Playing in a team means that we are just cooperative with everyone’s role and the desire towards a goal. However, when we encounter resistance it can easily disrupt our play.
Playing as a team means that we understand at the “nuts and bolts” level of execution the strengths and weakness of our team members and leverage our strengths to compensate for them, while others do the same for us in return.
It is a collaborative exercise versus a cooperative exercise. Hence it is essential that we figure out growth teams and work together in the trenches long enough and often enough that we understand how to play together.