Summer is here, and soccer camps are starting to get under way. When the season ended, your coach may have told you that he or she wants you to step into a leadership position for the following year. You’ve never had this kind of pressure placed on you before, but you’re ready to accept the challenge. A few questions you might be asking yourself are: How do I become a leader? What traits does a leader possess? How can I step into this role on the soccer field? The first thing you need to know is there is no such thing as a natural born leader. Those who possess leadership qualities have gained them through not only their upbringing and social surroundings but also their confidence and work ethic as well; being a leader is not merely a product of fate.
Here are a few ways that you can step into a leadership position on your soccer team for both adults and teenagers, from QueensCast:
Lead By Example (for teenagers): Think about your last team captain and how everything they did was mirrored by the rest of the team. Even if he or she wasn’t the best player on the field, they always did what was best for the team, and that attitude was contagious to everyone surrounding them. This begins with your hustle and work ethic. If you are showing up on time every day to better yourself and those around you, you will gain the trust of your teammates and build better team chemistry. Do your part to help set up practice and perform cleanup, respect all of your coaching staff, teammates, opposing players, and referees, run on and off the field, get to practice early and stay late. These actions will all stand out and propel yourself as a leader.
Know the Strengths and Weaknesses of Yourself and Your Teammates (for adults and teenagers): Let’s say you’re not the best shooter on the team, and your primary skillsets on the field are your passing and defensive ability. Although it may not be the most glamorous, defending a potential goal or setting up the game-winner are essential parts of the game. Being a team leader doesn’t always mean hitting long-range shots like Cristiano Ronaldo. Know your role and execute it; if you’re not open, pass the ball to a player that is so they can take the shot. Communication is key, but you also need to know the skill of your teammates and if they have the ball handling ability to be passed to in traffic. Knowing the ins and outs of your team’s ability will go a long way in developing your leadership skills.
Remain Calm, Cool, and Collected Under Pressure (for adults and teenagers): This one goes back to leading by example; if your teammates notice that you don’t let the rigors of the game get to you, they’ll trust that you are mentally strong enough to be the leader of their team. Don’t get frustrated when you have a bad game because everyone has one. When the shots are missing, don’t stop taking them because you’re afraid of failure; it’s part of the game. Showing weakness is not a leadership quality, and the morale of the team will be affected by it. The statement, “you’re only as strong as your weakest link” rings true on the soccer field. Be a team player, and don’t let your own struggles distract you from that. Just take a deep breath, keep calm, and “woooosah.”
ALWAYS Put the Team First (for adults and teenagers): This is probably the most important part of the list because the game of soccer might be the most team-oriented sport known to man. There are constant moving parts, plays, and formations that are vital to team success and performance. In a few words, don’t be selfish. Be empathetic, pick your teammates up when they’re down, constantly put yourself and your team in positions that will accomplish not only winning but overall growth, and challenge your teammates to be the best versions of themselves every day. If you follow these tips, you might just emerge as the leader you’ve always wanted to be, and transform your team from the underdogs to the big dogs.
We hoped you learned some new tips on how to truly be a leader on your soccer team. For even more tips on how you can be the best soccer player you can be, please browse the rest of the QueensCast blogs.