To win, sports teams don’t just need athletes with talent. They need great leaders who are a positive force on the field and in the locker room. If you want to make a lasting impact on your sports team as an athlete or coach, here are some qualities you should work on developing.
A sense of duty
Good leaders are willing to step up and do the hard work when no one else wants to. Whether it’s staying extra hours to help a teammate practice, making sure plays run smoothly, or helping to smooth over disagreements within teammates, good leaders impact the game even while in practice.
Good leaders are not satisfied with second-best. They hold themselves and their teammates accountable for playing to their fullest potential. As legendary Lakers coach Pat Riley once said, “Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better.”
Peyton Manning had a reputation as a good leader with great decision-making skills on the football field. Players and coaches should develop the skill of thinking quickly and efficiently when your team looks to you for guidance. Entrepreneur and Houston Texans owner Javier Loya of OTC Global Holdings once said, “In business and in football, recognizing opportunities and avoiding pitfalls is half the battle.”
Being a good leader doesn’t mean pretending to be someone you’re not. Play to your strengths as an individual to help your team achieve success. As Javier Loya also said, “I’ve learned that being myself and sharing my unique experiences provide many helpful perspectives for running a football team.”
Being a leader won’t be easy. You’ll make mistakes and won’t always make the right decisions. But failure is never final. Use your failures to improve yourself on the way to your next victory.