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Leadership in Sport


Leadership is one of the basic principles of life and can be defined in a variety of ways. Over the last few years, I’ve noticed a great need for today’s youth to learn leadership skills. I believe sport is a great avenue for today’s youth to learn how to become an effective leader. This article simply focuses on basic steps to becoming an effective leader.

In order to become a great leader, you must first perceive yourself as a great leader. Even as a follower, it is important for us to imagine ourselves in leadership positions with leadership skills and qualities. Throughout my life, I have recognized that many people do not see themselves as a leader nor desire to become one. This is all due to how a person thinks and how they perceive their future.

The first step in changing our way of thinking and becoming an effective leader is submitting and receiving. In the world we live in, many people have issues submitting to rules and regulations or in this case authority. In order for us to learn and gain knowledge, we must first submit to the person in the leadership role and second be willing to learn from them. The next aspect is humility. After we submit to the person in the leadership role, the next thing we should do is humble ourselves. Humility is the absence of pride and is a prerequisite for change. We cannot change the way we think until we humble ourselves. The next aspect is discipline. Discipline can be defined in different situations, but in this case, it is the development of the mind through instruction. We should be willing to learn and gain as much knowledge as possible. With this, we should gain understanding, which gives us the skill to decipher between various types of knowledge that can be used in different situations. The next step is mentoring or finding a mentor. We should be able to identify mentors in our life that will accelerate the process of us learning a particular skill or gaining a leadership quality. The mentor’s hindsight becomes our foresight, as mentoring can be defined as “Success without the wait.” The next aspect is teaching. Teaching is an effective way to change someone’s mindset because it can disseminate knowledge to groups of people, whereas in most cases, mentoring usually involves one on one communication. Meditation (studying) follows teaching. We have to understand that we have the ability to place our minds on anything we desire to; so instead of focusing on the reasons why we wouldn’t be a good leader, try focusing on the reason why we would. Last but not least, experience is the last step in changing the way we think and becoming an effective leader. Experience can be defined as the knowledge we get through ‘living’ and it plays a vital role in the way we view our lives.

By: Dr. Brandon Spradley, Director of Sports Management, USSA. Dr. Spradley can be reached at bspradley@ussa.edu 



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