5 Ways Your Player Can Be The Team Leader

team_leader_postMany athletes fail to develop as leaders not because they lack leadership ability, but because they lack a fundamental understanding of what leadership is. To become an effective leader, the athlete first needs to understand the job of a team leader. Once this is made clear, the athlete can go to work developing the skills he or she needs to assert a positive leadership influence on the team. If you do not already have a clear job description of a positive team leader, here is one to consider.

Your job as positive team leader is to elevate the team in ways that build trust.  We want you to focus on five winning practices:

1. Model the Way.  Set a positive example for your teammates in what you do and say in competition, in practice, in the locker room, in the classroom, and in the community.

2. Assure Execution.  First make sure you know and execute all of your team assignments.  Then, reach out and assist your teammates who need help with executing their assignments.

3. Spark the Energy.  Sense when the team is losing positive energy.  Use your voice and example to spark the energy - especially when the going gets tough in practice and competition.

4. Promote Unity.  Help everyone feel included, valued, and respected.  Don’t tolerate cliques or divisive conflicts on the team.  Ask for help from your coaches if you see serious conflicts arising.

5. Elevate Your Teammates.  Everyone struggles now and then.  Reach out to help a teammate who is struggling - including younger athletes and role players who don’t see much playing time.  It is not your job to solve their problems.  But it is your job to provide encouragement and friendship.

This kind of leadership can be practiced by anyone, from the team captain to the star player to the last person on the end of the bench.  This same kind of leadership is valuable not only in athletics, but in all kinds of settings beyond sports.  If you can learn how to lead in this fashion, you will increase your chances of success in athletics and beyond for the rest of your life.

Editor’s Note: Special thanks to Steve Horan of PositiveSports.net for the above article.
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