Team Leadership – According to a Coach’s Wife



“Once a player joins our team, our priority is to teach him.”

– Tony Dungy


I think there are 6 types of leaders your team needs in order to be successful.

This is who they are:

1. Achievement Leaders

This is your “student-athlete coach.” Your team may have more than one, in fact it should. These are the athletes that take charge, vocally, during practice and competition.  They keep your team focused and on task.

Not only will they need to lead vocally, but also by strong example. They need to show intensity, dedication, and discipline. This will be the athlete that steps up and sets the tone for performance levels.

2. Backup Leaders

These are the athletes that are 2nd or 3rd string. Although they’re often looked-over, they are important. Think about how many players don’t get a lot of playing time. You probably have more back-up players than star players.

Your substitute leader will help other subs understand their part in making your team successful. Their role is to keep disgruntled subs from becoming discouraged, which can deplete team morale.

3. Huddle Leaders

Have you ever seen a team come back from a huddle or locker-room play completely different than they did before?

Well, sometimes that is the coach changing a game scheme, most of the time it’s the motivation of a huddle leader.

These are the guys who set a firm foundation for team morale and expectations.  They lead the team with their words and actions. They will be positive and reflective.

4. Organizational Leaders

This type of leader will be involved in organizations and groups outside of the team. They keep your team involved in what is happening around the school.

This leader will represent your team at meetings and events.

5. Communal Leaders

These are the social leaders. They will focus on your overall team bond and relationships.

Your team will have smaller group connections. It may be divided by offense/defense, position, or grade-level. Either way, they will make a point to connect those groups socially.

They will also plan events with other athletic teams in order to get to know each other better.

6. Inspirational Leaders

The inspirational leaders will be purposeful.  They will influence other players to recognize their faith on the field/court. Their goal is to empower and encourage people to make a difference.


It is necessary for coaches to seek out leaders for these roles. Some athletes will shy away because they worry about what others think. Make an effort to develop these leaders, challenge them, and encourage them daily.

“Your first and foremost job as a leader is to take charge of your own energy and then help to orchestrate the energy of those around you” – Peter F. Drucker



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