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Leadership and Responsibility

Frequently it seems that a team captains sole responsibility is to go meet with the refs and opposing captains immediately before the games. This would be the ceremonial part of being a captain. But if you want true leadership, then the captain must do much more than calling heads or tails.

Part of being a coach is understanding the importance of developing a player's leadership qualities. Sometimes this means delegating responsibility to the team leaders and letting them do things that you as a coach are accustomed to doing. An example might be letting the players lead their own warm ups (with proper supervision of course). This gives the players some responsibility for their training and is a way to start working on developing some leadership qualities.

Other ways to work on leadership would be to talk to some of the players about starting lineups, positions, formations, etc. By doing this, it allows the players to take some ownership of the team and helps everyone to understand whose team it really is (the players team instead of the coaches team).

When having competition in training, if you want there to be a reward or punishment for the winners and losers of the competitions let the team leaders determine the reward or punishment.

Giving each player a role in the leadership of a team will help in many ways. It will let the players establish some responsibility for their team and will, in the long run, make the coaches job easier. It will also help develop leadership qualities in young people which is one of the most important things a coach can ever accomplish.

Different players should be assigned different responsibilities (some could be in charge of warm ups, some could be in charge of cool downs, some could be involved with setting up the field for training etc.). The key is that in time, each player will have a better understanding of what is involved in leadership and that in turn will make them better players and better people.

Please feel free to email or with any questions if you are unsure or have any points you would like to discuss.

Tom and Jono