Please join me for a fun series. My mission, and I’ve chosen to accept it, is to write a post based on each letter of the alphabet. The English major inside of me is very excited about this project…and my inner nerd is even more fired up! Keep checking back as I tackle the intangibles of sport…from A to Z.
I believe it’s important for us to model quality leadership for our student-athletes. We have an amazing opportunity to show our young people what it takes to lead with integrity, focus, and success. Check out the things that will make us great leaders…and prepare our players to do the same!
L…learn. I’m a big fan of reading business magazines, blogs, and books. What I read time and again is that business leaders are voracious readers. And if they love to read, maybe we should be too since we’re the CEO’s of our programs. Reading forces us to think critically, follow our mentors, and find different perspectives on how to solve problems.
E…enthusiasm. As I’ve said before, we’ve got to love what we do…and that passion should be contagious to our teams. I’ve caught the volleyball bug and my goal is to infect my team with it. I want the passion I have for my sport to go through my team like a cold in a kindergarten classroom.
A…advocate. For the noun version of this word, we should be advocates for our student-athletes on our campuses. Whether it’s with professors who may not understand or value the time commitment required to excel at our sport or an apathetic student body that may not appreciate with athletics brings to the campus community. For the verb version, I believe that it’s the coach’s job to always advocate for awards for our players…both athletic and academic. It’s always sad to hear that an athlete would have won an award if only their coach had taken the time to nominate them.
D…delegate. I know we head coaches are crazy control freaks, but we’ve got to let some things go…for the benefit of the team and our sanity. We hired our assistants because we believe they are capable and knowledgeable…let them be those things!
E…effective. Ineffective leaders are unreliable, take no ownership, are resistant to change, and have a negative attitude…read more here.
R…relevant. A great leader will stay up to date on all of the newest innovations with their profession. Whether it’s reading books, attending conventions and seminars, or even just watching a webinar…effective leaders keep up with all things relevant to excelling at their job.
S…servant. 10 characteristics of a servant leader: listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, commitment to the personal growth of people, and building community…read more here.
H…humility. We’ve all been around that coach who blames her team when things are going poorly and takes all of the credit when her team is rolling…don’t be that coach.
I…integrity. It basically comes down to your moral code, whatever that is, and how well you stick to it. Will you treat your star players the same as those who will never get off of the bench? Will you bad mouth another coach in order to get a prized recruit? Will you fudge the numbers to make sure that your budget is balanced?
P…purpose. I believe that God created me to coach. Not because I think I’m some sort of baller coach, but because I believe in what sport teaches young people. I feel privileged to be able to teach life lessons (disguised as athletics) that these young ladies will be able to use out in the real world.
If we believe that coaching is more than the X’s and O’s, the wins and losses…then we’ve got to be intentional about creating a respectful environment that is conducive to leadership.