What is a GOOD leader? A leader isn't one set definition, a leader can be one in many different ways. It can be defined by their mentality approach, skill-set, overall interpersonal skills and more. A leader is needed on every sports team, to inspire others to be the best they can, or to even motivate others to be one themselves. See what our coaches have to say from their experience, enjoy!
Nick Noble: Assistant Men’s Soccer Coach at West Virginia University.
Sean Phillips: Head Men’s Soccer Coach at the University of Illinois - Chicago.
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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Coach Noble talks about his personal experience playing soccer at the professional level. He says that some players on his team stood out to him, and internally pushed him to become a leader himself. Nick says that true leaders are able to bring the team up when things are not going well, or as planned.
Coach Phillips says that he has begun looking for leadership traits within athletes. Sean talks about how different athletes can lead, 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.
Sagar defines a leader as someone who has the ability to see things in other people that that person may not see in themselves - the ability to inspire. Sagar says at Lawrence University they are looking for people who are going to bring something to the table. These people are kind and compassionate, along with a 'team first' mentality.
Leadership is something that is very important to Jay and he has spent a lot of time in his life focusing on identifying and defining leadership. Jay reads a quote from John Quincy Adams that he believes defines a leader: “A leader is someone who makes the people around them leaders.” Jay also tells a story of when he was a boy scout and encountered a discussion on leadership that influenced the way he still leads today. Jay thinks it is important that coaches as leaders, not just to tell athletes how to do something, but also why they should do it.
A leader can be many things, and anyone can be a good leader if they have the right intentions. Sometimes in those pressure game-time situations, a leader is the one who pulls the rest of their team on their back to victory.
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