A few months ago we shared a post on how athletic leadership can prepare you for leadership in the workplace. Stemming from that, below are some key points to remember to help you maximize your effectiveness as a team leader.
Lead by Example. Part of being a team leader is setting an example for others to follow. It means showing dedication to your sport by arriving early, staying late, and giving 110% of your effort during practice. It also means helping your teammates who may be struggling by spending time with them during or after practice. You can also set an example for your teammates by asking your coach what you can be working on off the court. Doing this can motivate your teammates to do the same; leading to a better overall team. Leading by example also applies to your time off the court.
Manage Stress. Managing your own stress is important so you can be there to support your teammates. When you manage your own stress you’re able to keep calm and talk your teammates through problems or setbacks. As a leader, your teammates will look up to you to get them through tough or stressful situations. By having your own stress in check, you can be there for your team to propose solutions to get your team through whatever adversity they may be facing.
Be Assertive. As a team leader, you need to be able to speak up for your teammates and your team as a whole. Show your passion for your sport and your team by speaking up when the time calls for it. However, being assertive is a delicate balance between leading without being overbearing or taking control of every situation. Part of being a good leader is allowing others to step up to the plate and shine.
Be Ethical. Being an ethical leader is important to winning the respect of your teammates and coaches. Ethics should be integrated into everything you do as an athlete, from following through on commitments, playing with good sportsmanship and practicing integrity when you’re off the court. A team leader can lose credibility if winning is achieved unethically.
Be Optimistic. Being optimistic and motivating your teammates is a major role of a team leader. Whether it’s getting through a tough practice, preparing for the rival game or overcoming the loss of an integral teammate, being optimistic will uplift your teammates and give them the motivation they need to give their all and go out and win.
Take Responsibility. As a leader, it is important to take responsibility for your actions. Showing that you can take responsibility for your actions will help your teammates to do the same. This also includes not talking badly about teammates, coaches or situations. In addition, it’s also important to delegate responsibility to other teammates and make sure they follow through on their responsibilities.
Focus on your Team. As a leader, you can quickly lose the respect of your teammates if everything you do is for your own benefit. Be careful not to put yourself first, but to make your team priority. This kind of selfless leadership leads to a stronger overall team.
Communicate. Communication is key when you are a team leader. You need to be able to give clear direction to your teammates and get everyone on the same page. It is also important to be able to communicate effectively with coaches. Remember, communication is a two-way street. Part of being a good communicator is being a good listener.
To close, here’s a quote from legendary football coach, Vince Lombardi:
“Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”
What are some other tips that have helped you become an effective team leader? Share them below.
Summertime is right around the corner. So, what are your goals for the summer? Yes, it’s a time to relax and recharge, but think of ways to challenge yourself so you can come back strong next year, whether you are heading off to college, or into your senior year of high school.
As you strive to be a leader and set an example for those around you, it’s important to keep yourself focused. Start by ironing out your goals for summer by following this guide:
Stay sharp. Keeping a sharp mind is imperative and can be done in a number of ways. Choose one, or a few things that appeal the most to you. Reading is a great option, and can be done whether you’re at home or on vacation. Challenge yourself this summer and read about a subject that interests you, but haven’t had the time to learn about due to the school year. You can join a local book club, or read the books on their reading list on your own. Learning a new skill is another way you can broaden your horizons over the summer. Look up area workshops in areas such as art, music, or whatever else interests you. Or, take a moment and sign up to be a mentor or tutor. Assisting others with their academics will help keep your mind sharp and displays great leadership. Whatever the task, keeping your mind active and engaged will make for an easier transition into the next academic year.
Stay in shape. If you’re involved in fall sports, you may already have a summer training guide or team practice schedule planned for the summer. If not, create a workout plan for yourself. You can make it fun and include your friends or fellow teammates to join you. Including others in your workout plan can keep you motivated and accountable. Also consider joining a summer sports league or make plans with a friend or family member to work on an athletic activity together. Whatever the direction, the goal is to keep your endurance up and your muscle memory in tact.
Stay involved. The summer is filled with opportunities to get involved in your local community. Whether it’s volunteering or working, involvement in your community is a great way to display leadership. You can plan to volunteer at an animal shelter, food bank or community event. You can also volunteer to be a tutor or help out at a local summer camp. Research organizations in your area that are looking for summer help and choose something that interests you. You’ll not only have fun giving back, you’ll contribute to society, gain excellent resume building experience, and even possibly find a new career path that interests you.
Whatever your plans are this summer, remember it’s not only a time to unwind, but it’s also a great time for giving back and self-discovery. And remember to have fun. As entrepreneur and philanthropist Felix Sabates once said, “All work and no play is no good for the soul.”
The application deadline is five months away. While there is plenty of time left before October 2, 2013, don’t wait too long to get started. You can view the full program timeline here. Be sure to write these important dates down in your calendar so you don’t miss a thing.
If you haven’t, now is a great time to get started on your Wendy’s High School Heisman application. You can start now, save your work, and keep coming back to your application until it’s complete.
Below are some areas to be thinking about and preparing for so you will be ready when the October deadline rolls around.
Get Organized: An easy place to start is by making a list and collecting information on all the activities and organizations you’ve participated in during your freshman, sophomore and junior year, including:
- Academic and honor societies
- Sports teams
- School organizations and clubs
- Volunteer organizations
You can also start listing out achievements you’ve earned, such as:
- Awards and honors won
- Athletic records set
- Positions held in organizations, clubs or sports teams
Having this information organized in advance will make the application process smoother and not have you scrambling at the end.
Select a Reviewer: If you haven’t already, now may be a good time to start thinking about who you want to review your application. Your reviewer must be a school official like a teacher or guidance counselor. They will be responsible for reviewing your application, confirming its accuracy and submitting your application before the application deadline. Make sure you complete your application in time for your reviewer to review and submit your application before the deadline.
ACT/SAT Exams: If you have taken the ACT or SAT, collect your test dates and scores. If you have multiple tests, choose the test with your highest score. If you haven’t taken either test, be sure to schedule these exams soon. The summer can be a great time to get these done. You can visit the ACT website and the SAT website to view dates and test locations in your state. It may be beneficial to take these tests multiple times to ensure you get your best score. You may also decide to sign up for an ACT or SAT prep class. Ask your guidance counselor to help you find prep classes in your area, or you can research programs online.
Remember, it’s never too early to get started. Another post will be coming out in the next few months with more updates on the application countdown.
If you have any questions about the application process you can email our customer center or call 800-205-6367.