The Coach's Corner
Published Feb. 8, 2012 @ 12:29 p.m.
Leadership is the key ingredient needed to develop a championship caliber program. Lou Holtz once said, “Leadership is the most important factor in the development of a championship team.”
The greatest need of a team is an abundance of good leaders. They are needed during the off-season, the summer, in pre-season as well as during the season. They are needed during the building and developing of individual skills, during the phase of putting these skills together into a team, and they are needed during each game.
Every class of athletes is important, but the most valuable class needs to be the senior class. Seniors, who play the best of their careers and have the most experience, have the potential to make the team successful or not.
Leadership is a skill that we all have and can use, but most actually use. Leadership can be learned and taught anyone can become one, but the choices they make determine their ability to lead. One of the greatest contributions a player can make is to become a good leader. Assuming a role as a leader a satisfying experience, but it requires a mental toughness and a disciplined control of your mind.
An opportunity to be a leader is a privilege and a challenge. It should be approached with confidence, because nearly all players of good character, reasonable physical skills and ambition can learn to be a good leader. The need on any team for good leaders is great and the opportunities are limitless.
Good leaders need no mystical methods or profound philosophies. It is all quite simple. The leader expects and wants to do the right thing. Improper behavior generally springs from ignorance. If a player does something wrong, a good leader simply tells him or shows him how to do it right. This applies on and off the field and in and out of the classroom. All players must mean to do the right thing and work at it with good effort.
Success or failure of an athletic team will depend on the kind of leadership displayed. There have been many average teams that have become great through good leadership. There have been many potentially great teams than never develop because of poor leadership.