Encourage Leadership

We know leadership exists, but how do you explain it?  Some, like former 49er Tight End Jamie Williams, describe it as gravity .. you just know it's there.  Dictionaries describe leadership as :  lead-er-ship  [ lee-der ship] noun, The ability to guide, direct, or influence people.  So how does this characteristic apply to your team?

The coach is an instrumental authority figure that puts individuals, and the team, in position to achieve goals.  Among many varied functions such as game planning, organizing practice, budgeting, scheduling, recruiting, team motivation and public relations it's also important for coaches to delegate leadership roles within the team.  Understanding that leadership has a tremendous impact on the team it is crucial to not pick your designated team leader completely upon his athletic ability.

Placing a player in a leadership role means he cannot possess a know-it-all attitude.  This person must be motivated, understand the team concept, be supportive of the coaches and encourage more training or instruction.  This type of confidence will trickle down to teammates.  To put this into perspective .. the proper leadership will make the team a positive one that is effective and accomplish extraordinary things.  Not only will this grow the team intensity and band together the pursuit of a championship season but develop an 'open door' policy to the team - coaches.  Thus you gain "cohesion" which is a foundation block to team effectiveness.

Ok ... another description ... Cohesion, which means to stick together.  Simply put this is the resistance of a team to disruptive forces and remaining within the teams goals.  The recent NFL seasons have shown concepts that does not imply to overall unity and the commitment to the team as a whole.  Have these teams obtained the expected/desired results?  Hmmm ... something to ponder!

As indicated above, the team goals need to be interwoven into your organization.  A team has a life cycle that increases when leadership is effective.  But when evolution in leadership stalls a leveling off happens and then a decrease until the team effort dissolves.  This has a direct link to player recruitment and other organizational needs.

Overall it is up to the coach to guide a team, not rule a team.  Delegating roles will help you chart the course, give direction to win and develop a team environment.  Instilling confidence, enthusiasm along with showing credibility to players builds mutual respect that makes a great team on a consistent basis.  Often this will win those close games!

Yours in football,
Coach Z


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