How do you define effective leadership in youth football? Many would say it is all about inspiration and the ability to get others to stand behind you. A great coach sticks to a pre-defined set of core values and effectively leads by example.
We want to challenge you this upcoming youth football season.
Reach inside of your mouth into the deepest pit of your stomach and pull out the greatest leadership abilities living inside of you. Whether you are a coach or an athlete, it is undoubtedly present, it is there for you to draw out.
Coach, focus on these 15 points to be an effective mentor to your athletes.
An effective leader..
1. Teaches kids that participating in youth football is not just a game with a pigskin, it is about an introduction to the sport and the many life lessons (such as discipline, teamwork and resiliency) that are learned.
2. Commits to learning and has an insatiable desire to know everything related to football. Effective leaders dedicate an enormous amount of time specifically for getting better.
3. In the face of nasty adversity responds appropriately. General rule of thumb, never be too upset nor too excited on the football field. Keep in mind, your athletes are attentively watching all that you do. If you are frazzled, they will be too.
4. Understands player safety. A great coach does not put kids at risk with unnecessary or unsafe drills.
5. Quickly resolves parent conflicts. Does not allow outside distractions to get in the way of his goals.
6. An effective leader plays the game with integrity. Has no desire to run the score up. He rewards his minimum play players with extra playing time when they work hard at practice. If you want to teach character building you must first display it.
7. Delegates authority. Football by no means is an individual sport. An effective coach or leader delegates authority to his coaching staff and players with trust in their preparation and effort.
8. Takes risks. Isn’t afraid to make a mistake for the betterment of the team.
9. Learns from Mistakes. Understanding failures with a keen eye to correct is a great sign of an effective leader. Stubbornness often leads to failure as a coach.
10. Displays confidence. Speak with authority! If the athletes, coaching staff and parents believe that YOU really believe in your philosophy, they’ll be even more responsive to your mission.
11. Creates an environment of self-assessment. The ability to self-assess and immediately correct one’s mistakes makes for an army of leaders. After a month of practices, you will want to hear the following from your players – “Here’s the mistake that was made on the field and here’s how I am going to correct it”.
12. Does not play favorites.
13. Takes initiative. If you preach it, you must walk the walk. Your players will recognize your preparation efforts. There is great value in teaching initiative as it is the first step to success on the football field (and in life).
14. Does not have an ego! Understands that all efforts are centered around the team.
15. Is a master communicator and motivator. Speaks from the heart with passion and decisiveness. He knows what it takes to inspire all around him.
The motivational ‘I am a champion’ video: