As a coach, how do you define an athlete as a good or bad leader? Every team needs an athlete that leads their teammates and sets a good example, but what differentiates a good one from a bad one? See what our coaches say about defining good leadership within their athletes!
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 says there are multiple ways players can lead, and he often observes players leading in many different ways. At West Virginia University, they are especially looking for athletes that can speak up and elevate their team to the next level. Speaking up for the team along with taking the team to the next level, are core attributes Nick looks for within athletes, and prospective athletes. Nick also talks about what leading looks like as a goalkeeper.
Sean says he believes one thing that good leaders do is take advantage of every opportunity they have, and maximize all of their attributes to the fullest extent. Sean gives examples of players he has coached that have exemplified this. Sean also talks about how leadership contributes to a team's overall success.
Joe says all good leaders he has been around, are the people who look to empower the people around them. He also says that the best leaders surround themselves/hire people who are good at the things they may not be the best at. As an example, Sagar says he directs his assistants to bring ideas to the table that he may not have thought of.
Dr. Jay Martin
Dr. Martin talks about a new strategy they have implemented during their 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 themselves.
A good leader varies from person to person, but as long as their intentions are nothing but positive, they are a good leader. Sometimes all it takes is one person speaking up for others, empowering and motivating others, to push someone to their full potential. This will then create a domino effect on the whole team, and lead a team to success.
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