Leadership Mindset and Qualities for a Football Team


Communicating Effectively to the Team

What qualities characterize an effective leader or captain?

If you were to list the qualities of an effective team captain, you would probably include:

  • Having positive communication skills with teammates and coaches
  • Putting the goals of the team ahead of personal goals
  • Lifting teammates up instead of putting teammates down
  • Being a steadying force and positive example for teammates
  • Understanding the needs and concerns of the team

Many times, our idea of how a team captain should act doesn’t match the attitude or behaviors of the team’s captain.

See if you can identify with this experience. At the beginning of the season, your team selects a captain

In previous years, this player worked hard and exhibited some positive leadership skills.  This player was a well-respected member of the team and a sound candidate for team captain.

Unfortunately, things changed when this player was chosen as captain. Instead of working hard, the captain started to slack off while getting on other teammates for lack of effort.

Positive communication was replaced with talking about teammates behind their backs. The captain pointed fingers at other players for losses while shrugging off personal responsibility.

The effect of a demeaning or power-hungry captain is divisiveness. Without effective leadership, team cohesion suffers, as well as the overall effort of the team. Players become angry with bossy captains, and the performance of the group declines.

The problem is not with the team but the leadership style of the captain. Instead of fostering team unity, the dictatorial leadership style of the captain split team members into cliques.

The key to being a positive and effective team leader is putting the team first.

NFL quarterback Justin Herbert sees the leadership role as a player being true to their identity.

HERBERT: “I think the most important quality of a leader is being themselves. Being genuine and not trying to be someone that you’re not. For me, it was important to be the same, steady guy all throughout the time. Not get too high, not get too low. I think it’s really important to be able to address your team and be genuine because when things are good, you need to be the same guy, and when things are bad, you need to be the same guy, too.”

A good leader brings the team closer together around a common objective.

Understanding your role as a team leader can help a team achieve its ultimate goal while assisting individual players to reach their potential

A leader is a position of honor where you care about each team member as well as the team collectively

Being an Effective Team Leader

An effective leader is a good communicator.  Dialogue is more conducive to team success than a monologue.

Try scheduling some informal meetings with your team.   Listen to the concerns and suggestions of your teammates and present those issues to your coach.

Also, you can learn how to become a better leader by reading articles and working to develop effective leadership skills.

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The Mental Edge for Football

The Mental Edge for Football

Are you (or your athletes) performing inconsistently in games with less confidence in games than in practice? Do you lose confidence easily after a couple of blown plays? Do you become so frustrated with your game that you can’t focus on the next play? If you answered yes to these questions, it’s a good bet that your mental game might prevent you from consistent performance in games.

“The Mental Edge For Football” is a complete brain dump of the TOP eight mental training sessions we teach our football players to help them boost their mental game and improve consistency – from how to mentally prepare for games to performing under pressure to building unstoppable confidence.

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