Leadership is crucial for any team, program, or organization to be successful. Many young people do not understand what it takes to be an effective captain or leader. I always look for the individuals who are capable of leading by example and leading vocally. The ideal situation is if your best player is your hardest worker and best leader. Only if it was that easy! Too many individuals are concerned about what their peers think. They are afraid of the reaction they might get from a teammate or a friend.
A good leader is not concerned about what people think. A good leader is concerned that everything is getting done the right way and that the team is being productive on a daily basis. It is much easier to lead by example. The real leaders speak their mind.
Coaches often talk about the importance of senior leadership. I agree to a certain extent. I am more concerned with leadership from our upper classmen. They should have the experience and savvy to guide the young players in the program. They need to lead and continue to raise the bar on a daily basis. Younger players tend to be followers and they often look for the veterans to pave the way.
We have three captains in our program and they are similar in how they lead. They want to play hard and lead by example. The common denominator is that they are not comfortable holding their teammates accountable in front of the entire team. They are too concerned about what their teammates think! A leader cannot be hesitant or afraid of what people might think. A leader needs to worry only about doing what is best for the success of the team and the program.
Being a leader is not an easy job! Certain individuals thrive in a leadership role and others struggle. Being a captain or a leader is a privilege. It comes with a lot of responsibility. I expect our three captains to be an extension of the coaching staff. We meet with our captains regularly to educate them and to give them some ideas about being effective leaders. We pick their brains and we allow them to pick our brains.
It will be a long season if the coaching staff has to lead every minute of every day. The team needs voices from within.
Our three captains are getting better each day. It is a feeling out process for them. They are talking more and more each day. They are doing a better job of leading and holding teammates accountable. Now they just need to do it on a consistent basis!