While your approach to coaching and managing athletes lays the groundwork for your team’s performance ,your closest ally is your team captain … or captains
Finding and cultivating leadership can be a challenging process. After all, some people are gifted with strong leadership skills, while others require more time and training. But in your pursuit of the most well-rounded team possible, consider developing an effective and diverse set of leaders rather than a single captain. Assigning responsibility to multiple players can be the most powerful way to build a successful team. Here are three types of leaders every team needs for a successful


What makes the coach-player relationship different? 


Your performance leader. It’s no secret that sports are highly competitive, compelling athletes to consistently raise the bar — from vigorous training and composure under pressure to pushing mental and physical boundaries during games. 

A competition-based leader is someone who innately strives to be at the top, motivating and elevating their teammates’ performance levels. He or she looks at the bigger picture — the collective needs of the team — rather than emphasizing personal interests. Come game time, the competition-based leader is your driving force, rallying teammates and inspiring them to give their all, even in the face of obstacles.


Your team-building leader. Leadership in athletics largely relies on engineering team culture. A team made up of individually phenomenal players isn’t, in and of itself, a recipe for success. Establishing a team that communicates effectively and genuinely gets along is the glue that binds everyone together.

A culture-based leader embodies team spirit and sets the tone for the rest of the team, empowering his or her peers to feel deeply invested. Solid culture-based leaders recognize that sometimes actions speak louder than words. To build a healthy team, the culture-based leader assists by handling details (such as re-filling water bottles or retrieving balls) to display team cohesiveness and lead by example. He or she may also mentor teammates who feel unsettled about their role on the team.


Your alignment leader.Team chemistry” is defined as the sum of relationships between every player and the coach. And while you will most assuredly do your best to understand and value your players, it never hurts to have someone “on the inside.” A chemistry-based leader ensures the team’s habits and philosophy align with your vision.

The chemistry-based leader is quick-thinking and decisive, particularly when faced with challenges or adversity. And though it isn’t a team captain’s sole responsibility to address issues and resolve them, a strong chemistry-based leader works closely with the coach (and often bridges the gap between the players and the coach) to encourage communication and ensure everyone is on the same page. While this role can be a balancing act, it is a crucial one — an essential source of inspiration and holding everyone accountable.