How do you spot a good leader on your team? What characteristics do they have? A good leader varies from one athlete to the next, never looking exactly the same. See what our coaches have to say from their athletic career! 


Nick Noble: Assistant Men’s Soccer Coach at West Virginia University. 

Sean Phillips: Head Men’s Soccer Coach at the University of Illinois - Chicago (UIC).

Joe Sagar: Head Women’s Soccer Coach at Lawrence University.

Dr. Jay Martin: Head Men’s Soccer Coach at Ohio Wesleyan University. 

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Nick Noble

Nick says there are multiple ways players can lead on a team. He often sees players leading in different ways, every player being their own person. Nick says that at West Virginia they are especially looking for athletes that can speak up and elevate the team to the next level. Nick also talks about what leading looks like as a goalkeeper. 

Sean Phillips

Sean says he has begun looking for leadership traits within athletes. Sean talks about how different athletes can lead in different ways and that some leadership traits are unique to college athletics. Sean says that although he does not believe every athlete is a leader, he does believe that every athlete can help lead their team in the right direction. 

Joe Sagar

Sagar talks about different things he notices in athletes that make them a good leader. He says an athlete's ability to rally around their teammates and put the team first is a sign of a good leader. A good leader as an athlete, cares more about the teams success, rather than only caring about their own as an individual.

Dr. Jay Martin

Jay says that during the recruiting process they have now begun not only calling the players coach, but also coaches of teams the players have played against. They do this to judge the players demeanor and behavior on the field and trust that opposing coaches will give the honest truth. Jay describes leaders as magnets who draw all the teammates to him. 

Whether you want to be a leader or not, it doesn't look one particular way. Every team is different, meaning that leadership will vary from athlete to athlete. As long as you care about the teams overall success, you have a good shot at being a great leader. 

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