Leadership is constantly tested in the world of sports. Strong leadership is often the deciding factor in achieving the greatest victories. Without a strong leader at the helm, even the most talented teams can falter. With that in mind, here are five important qualities a leader needs to help their team win.
One of the reasons LeBron James is one of the best leaders in basketball is his ability to make his teammates better by cultivating and utilizing their strengths as players. His former coach Tyronn Lue said, “He’s a giver. He’s always looking to take care of people.”
World Series-winning New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi once said, “If you think too much, you fail, because the game happens too quickly. The key is preparation.” It’s too late to think of a strategy in the middle of a game. Before any game starts, you must know what your team and opponent are capable of and strategize accordingly.
Communication is essential for team sports. If everyone is not on the same page, a game plan will fall apart quickly. Good leaders should know how to give their players or teammates vital information clearly and succinctly.
Good leaders lead by example. If you’re not committed to working hard, your team will notice. If you’re willing to get down in the trenches to win, that attitude will rub off on them. Businessman and sports team owner Javier Loya of OTC Holdings gave this crucial advice: “In sports and business, nothing is ever handed to you. No matter how talented you are, success is earned, not given.”
Athletes are not mindless drones. They have their own differing viewpoints on how to help the team win. As Houston Texans owner Javier Loya said, “The best way to earn your players’ respect is to show that their opinions matter to you.”