developing championship leaders and team chemistry
The following is an excerpt from my book Coaching Champions For Life:
The goal of coaching is not to just develop leaders for your championship team. The goal of coaching is to develop leaders for life. Therefore, every player on the team must develop leadership skills. Yes, some players may be more vocal than others, some may display their leadership in different ways, but every player must develop leadership skills.
I think there are two general ways of showing leadership. The first is by being an example of what to do and what to say.
This is being a role model: Leaders are thermostats not thermometers. They set the tone and the mood. They do not just react to them. The second is by reaching out to others and helping them to do better. These things are true in sports and they are true in life.
Once again, the coach’s first obligation is to be a role model himself.
Second, the coach must educate the players about what a leader is and the different ways a player can demonstrate leadership. Next, the coach must devise ways for the players to practice leadership skills.
Finally, the coach must acknowledge frequently and publicly the many ways every day that the players are demonstrating good leadership. Again, the key to motivation is catching your players doing something right.
All of these steps are essential. Not only are they essential, they must be done every day. Not just every day of the season.
They must be done every time a coach sees a player on or off the field. I teach my players to always recognize the positive in others and in life. You should do the same when you see your players. Always say something positive first about them that makes them feel good about themselves and acknowledges a way they are setting a good example for others.
It does not always have to be said explicitly, but the message is always clear. “I’m proud of you because…”