Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Leadership Training

Posted by admin January - 9 - 2020 - Thursday

This is the time of year when a coach needs to start “Building a Championship!” The “foundation” work starts now. There are things that you need to be doing to make sure that your “foundation” is strong. One of those “Little Things That Can Make A BIG Difference” is: Leadership Training.

There are some great resources out there to help you train leaders. They are an excellent way to build leaders. I’ve found, though, that the best way may be “in house.” That is… giving your players the opportunity to exhibit leadership. Give him a small task and see how he handles that. If he shows promise, then you step things up.

I want to share some things I’ve used in the past that helped me 1- identify a potential leader and 2- begin to build him into a bona fide team leader.

Generally speaking, you need to “put him out front!” That’s where leaders are seen in relationship to the rest of the group. Be careful to observe how they respond to being “in the limelight.” Something as simple as telling him to “Come out front and lead team flexes today.” Watch his body language as you call his name. You can tell real quick if he is excited or embarrassed that you’re calling him to “step out and step up!” Then, how well does he take charge of the rest of the team when he IS out front? If you see something you like, call him out again at another time.

You can make him a “squad” leader in the Weight Room. Give him responsible for 4-5 other guys. For example, he takes attendance and then reports to the Strength Coach. Can he carry out this simple responsibility? Watch him while his squad/group is lifting. Is he “taking charge?” Is he encouraging the others to work hard? Is he making sure that everyone is on task? THIS is a great opportunity to see if he is more worried about what his teammates think of him than he is about seeing his team succeed. Great leaders possess great self-confidence. They don’t let others’ opinion of them sway them from succeeding at their given task.

Once you identify a cadre of potential leaders, then you can do some focused training to help enhance their skills. But, the first step is identifying who is showing leadership without being “trained.” I want to “catch them in the act” when they aren’t looking!

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