Are They Ready to Lead?

09.25.2018

Have you ever wondered how you can build your athletes into leaders? It’s a goal that every coach and parent thinks is important. However, most don’t have a process in place to achieve that dream.

A good place to start is how you communicate to your athletes. At the The 3rd Element(3E), we often start with a simple story. It goes like this:

Imagine you are on a big cruise ship enjoying your vacation, but suddenly a big fire breaks out on the ship. Would you stand by and do nothing? Of course not! When there is a fire on a ship, everyone is a firefighter.

Well, in the game of life, everyone needs to step up and be a leader.

One of the secret weapons of the great teams is their belief that leadership is not reserved for those who have the title of coach or captain. Rather, everyone is ready to be that firefighter on a ship. Everyone on elite teams is a leader!

As a coach or parent, you have to understand that your young athletes are likely scared of leading. You will hear athletes say things like, “How can I be a leader? I just don’t have enough experience.” Knowing their mindset, you have to set the expectation that nobody can hide from the leadership responsibility.

The heart and soul of leadership is about motivating the team to accomplish a goal that you all believe is important. Everyone on the team has a role in this! Everyone needs to step to be that firefighter on the burning ship.

Let’s get specific… how can athletes start the process of becoming a leader? You start with the small things.

“Great leadership takes place every day, in the smallest of ways.”

The very best leaders stand out by how they:

  • Carefully listen to others
  • Motivate others with a positive attitude
  • Treat others with respect at all times
  • Focus on people’s potential rather than their shortcomings

Don’t worry about leadership titles like captain or coach. Everyone leads! Help your athletes lean in and be that firefighter on the burning ship. With a process in place, you can help every athlete be the type of leader who can help the team perform at their best!

Are you ready to help your athletes grow into being a leader on the field, the court, the ice, the track, or wherever their athletic journey takes them? In our work with coaches and parents, we drive home the point that:

“There is more to the game than wins and losses. Sports can teach life skills that will last after the ball stops bouncing.”

I would love to hear about your struggles and successes as you try to develop your athletes into leaders both on and off the field.

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