Post by Coach Campbell on Jul 26, 2018 17:34:51 GMT
Jason Hylland Posted Date: July 25, 2018 3:18 AMStatus:Published Establishing a leadership program during the off-season can have many positive affects on building a winning tradition. A lot of coaches often talk about "changing the culture" of a program. A leadership program can facilitate doing just that. A leadership program can foster an appropriate attitude, improve communication, and set the standards that will create an unbreakable bond and team unity.
The positives of implementing a leadership program includes quickly getting each member of the team pushing towards one common goal. It also sets the foundation for the upcoming season and establishes a new set of expectations. An effective leadership program can often incite a high level of enthusiasm which will lead to increased intensity and desire to be great rather than settling for average.
The cons of implementing a leadership program is it can alienate certain players, particularly multi-sport athletes who are occupied with different sports in the winter or spring seasons. Those players may come back and feel as if they are no longer part of the group. Other players may look at the multi-sport athlete as someone who isn't a "team-first guy" because while everyone else was lifting in the weight room or running on the field, Mr. Basketball was shooting jump shots or Mr. Baseball was hitting singles.
The way I would implement a leadership program is to first sit down with the team once the season comes to an end. I would first want to know what we liked as a team about the past season, what we didn't like about the season, and what we want to change for the upcoming season. I need to make sure that the expectations I have for the team are not bigger than the expectations the players have for themselves. It just doesn't work unless the players and head coach are on the same page and share similar visions. I would then outline a course of action for meeting our expectations. This could include improving workout intensity, including team bonding sessions, etc...The next step would be to meet as a team or as a group (maybe seniors) every few weeks to see how we are progressing and if everyone is buying in to our new mantra. As spring ball gets closer, I would look to set up a leadership council with players who could end up being team captains during the season. These players would assist in holding the team accountable for the commitments they've made to the program. In the past, our football program has typically dedicated Wednesdays before weight lifting as a time to meet and develop our off-season leadership program.
Post by Coach Campbell on Jul 26, 2018 17:42:31 GMT
The pros of implementing an academy that promotes leadership and good character are immense. A program like this would help mature a lot of athletes and give them a solid foundation of things that can reflect on when they are in tough situations that require adult decisions. In my opinion, the most important topic to be taught is how to NOT make emotional decisions. The ability to control your emotions and not allow them to lead you in decision making is a great trait for a leader. This will help them at school, in their personal lives and on the field.
The cons of running a program like this is when you have athletes that want nothing to do with it. It will be another thing for them to complain about and gives them an opportunity to bring others down with them. That's why making it mandatory could be a tough thing to do. Overall, very few negative things could come from it.
I think the best way to implement this is by making it during the school day so kids don't have to use any more of their free time up. I would offer the program three times a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) during their lunch period. It wouldn't be mandatory but the invitation is to everyone on the team and we can sit down and talk through some key point while eating lunch. I'd challenge them to think critically on some basic scenarios and reflect on situations they've been in when they could have acted as a leader.