If you are in a leadership position in sports as a player then here are some helpful tips that might help you on and off the ice, field or court. As much as players want to be the captain or have a leadership role someday, leadership actually goes beyond occupying space or status. It has to be clear that the name on the front of the jersey is as or more
important as the name on the back.

Leadership is a mindset, the ability to take charge, take responsibility and be in the moment.
At times, leadership might mean that you have to lead a team, but at other times, it could merely mean exercising influence in whatever little way that you can. Even if you are not a designated captain you can still follow the
leadership traits and roles as a leader. While strong traits like the ability to lead in your sport with a big play or goal or are vital, the rest of this article will be showing you some essential things you need to know about leadership.

I was very fortunate when I played with the New York Rangers. We had many great leaders on that team!
Our captain was Mark Messier. In my opinion he was the best leader in hockey on and off the ice. As a teammate you were well aware of his presence. He had great pride, was fully present and cared about his teammates.

Having a Leadership role is about your teammates:
Your job as a leader is to put your teammates first. There cannot be leaders without followers.
A great leader has to recognize that life is built on relationships and the leader has to be trusted by his teammates. That doesn’t mean you have to be best friends!
A good leader knows that relationships is vital. Thus, the leader does their best to ensure that the relationship between their teammates is strong and that trust is there.

As a leader communication is key:
Communication does not only entail making noise in the dressing room by chanting loud or making small talk. The key to leadership success is listening to what your teammates have to say!
A leader is link between the coach and the rest of the team and is where teammates can come expecting to be listened to. (WITH TRUST) A leader has be to an effective communicator with values and goals, of the team as a whole.

Your teammates have to trust you and your behaviors and actions are always being watched:
As a leader you may have to make smart decisions and execute them effectively.
Your teammates have to develop confidence in the leader’s leadership. Also, a leader shows that he is trustworthy when he is accountable and transparent.

GOALS:
The best way to get teammates to make things work is to give them a common goal. It is the leader’s responsibilities to ensure that all teammates under his leadership are on the same page with the same vision. This helps to create the unity needed for everyone to work together as a team. It also helps the leader to know the potentials of what each teammate can do to add to the puzzle as it takes many pieces to have a to have successful year.

Lead by example:
Leadership can only be useful when the leader himself leads, not only by words but also by example. A leader must be an embodiment of whatever values or traits that is demanded. If you demand that your teammates do extra training, workouts or be ready to play every practice and game then you need to follow the same plan. Remember you are not the coach and you can only control what you can do by doing the little things and details as a leader on and off the ice,
field or court.

Don’t talk down to your teammates:
Be direct in a positive way or encourage your teammates. A good leader recognizes if there are set backs or bumps in the road with a teammate or teammates. I would recommend that you first talk to your teammate or teammates and explain the issue or issues at hand. Then listen to her or him. If this teammate or teammates is hurting the team and not willing to change for the better of the team then you might have to take this to the higher levels like the coach. Therefore, anytime a person does something worth celebrating, a leader should go ahead and give them all the kudos they deserves.
It will not only motivate your teammate but the rest of the team as well.

A great leader has the passion and discipline to lead:
There will be times when you just don’t feel good, your sick or you are not at 100% and you only feel like you can give 60%. You still need to dig down deep and give 100% of the 60% that you have to give.

Character of a Leader:
Great leaders avoids negative situations that would question their character. The leader will realizes that he or she is being looked at by their teammates, and thus, does everything to not to put themselves first and has the best interest of the team in mind. Leaders understands that we are all human and make mistakes. Even the leader will make mistakes but its crucial to make good choices and lead by example.

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