Post by Coach Campbell on Apr 25, 2019 2:07:55 GMT
A leadership academy empowers the student-athletes to have autonomy in the athletic program. One of the best ways to build relationships and have student-athletes buy in to the program is by establishing leaders. Assistant coaches will recommend some names of players who have what it takes to be a leader. Some of the criteria would be having a great attitude, attendance in the program and giving their best effort. I would also take ballot votes form the players but they would have to write why they should be leaders as to take away from a popularity contest. Coaches, some teachers and administration would be shown names and we would come to a consensus who would be the leaders for the current school year.
In season, Monday morning meeting at 7:45am, the leaders would meet with the head coach and any assistant coach who would be available and be presented topics that they would like to discuss. After a group discussion, each leader would take a part of the discussion and talk to all players before the start of practice and reiterate their discussions throughout the week. Saturday morning after games, the leaders would meet with the Head Coach to reflect and discuss any questions, concerns or compliments of how their discussions during the week went with the players.
In the offseason, all assistant coaches and head coaches will alternate during the school year to meet with the leaders on Monday mornings and be presented. Now in the offseason, it will be a two weeks before they meet with the assistant coach. This gives more time to discuss with parents before and after school and even on weekends.
One con which may appear is the quietest player stays quiet as they do what they are supposed to during their time and that’s all. Some players are followers and as much as you want them to become leaders, they do not want to lead.
Post by Coach Campbell on Apr 25, 2019 2:12:17 GMT
It is of a great importance to establish a leadership program during the off-season. I will establish a leadership council within the football program. The purpose of the leadership council is to give athletes a leadership role and influence over aspects of the football program, address operational and team management issues, to determine the team’s core values and establish a process to achieve overall vision and goals, to establish and maintain open lines of communication, to establish trust, to replicate positive influences throughout the team on a peer perspective, and empower leaders and increase ownership in the football program. The scope and shape of my leadership council originated from this article (along with two other articles I include at the end) on the Northwestern Wildcats football team leadership council. The key to sustained program success is getting the players to buy into the culture and philosophy that myself and the coaching staff feels is essential for growth and success. To do that, a leadership council will be used to create an atmosphere of ownership for the players.
During the first off-season team meeting in late-November (prior to Thanksgiving Break to give players time to apply and/or nominate outside of school), I will introduce the leadership council to all levels of the football program (current 9th, 10th, and 11th graders). I will begin by explaining the purpose of the leadership council. I will also have current 12th graders who were on the leadership council share their experiences and advice for aspiring members. I will explain how anyone can submit their own name along with the application questions. A player can also nominate a teammate by completing a different form (same questions just worded differently). The applications questions include: As elected, how would you promote/ensure accountability? How do you exemplify leadership now? Give an example of something personal you are going to work on to improve in order to help lead the program. In your opinion, what aspect of leadership does our team need from a player perspective? What actions will you take? What area does our team need the most improvement in currently? What is holding our team back? How can you help change it? Why do you want to be on the council? After the names are submitted, each class votes for their top choices within their grade level. The head coaches of each level (and possibly the current 12th graders) will read through the applications and determine if the top vote-getters are worthy of admittance to the council. The applications will be located in the football office and must be turned in to me by a designated date. All players who apply themselves or get nominated by a teammate will meet with me to discuss acceptance or to provide guidance in how to improve the chances of getting voted in next year. There is no set number of applicants that can be accepted, the number can change from year to year.
In addition to explaining the purpose and application process, I will explain the rules of the leadership council. If a member has two unexcused absences from a meeting, they will be removed from the council for the remainder of the season. An unexcused absence means not showing up to a meeting to which the player did not notify any of the head level football coaches that they would miss BEFORE the meeting takes place. Everyone has a chance to explain or give their opinion, but consensus does not need to be reached. I have veto power if the group cannot agree. The leadership council will meet bi-weekly (every other week) on Thursday afternoons in the offseason, and at least weekly on Monday mornings during the season.
The leadership council will have several specific functions. The leadership council will examine and revise team rules for the upcoming season, pick out team gear and logos, and uniforms, share their concerns, issues, ideas with the council and coaches, learn about leadership and how to become a better leader by example and vocal leader, be honest with each other and assess each other’s strengths and weaknesses as leaders, players, and men. The leadership council allows the voices of the entire team and program to be heard by the head coach, handles discipline or other issues that are not explicitly covered by the rules, be informed of the game planning, weekly themes, things to share with the rest of the team, and perform other duties as time goes on.
There are both pros and cons for implementing a leadership council into the football program. A pro of the leadership council includes giving ownership to players in making decisions that affect the program — from small things like uniform combinations to bigger, more important issues like game preparation plans. Another pro of the leadership council involves building communication, chemistry, and trust across all levels of the program. A con for implementing a leadership council might include players who are not a part of the council to feel detached from the team and/or inferior to the members on the council. Another con might involve the coaches forgetting to actively seek the input and insight from all members of the team. Applicants who do not get voted in might also feel discouraged and/or reluctant to apply again in the future.
As stated in the introductory paragraph, the purpose, organization, and expected outcomes of the leadership council originated from the Northwestern Wildcats leadership council. I remember reading this article and head coach Pat Fitzgerald explaining how, "The purpose of the Leadership Council is to open lines of communication, establish trust, and to replicate positive influences throughout the team on a peer perspective. The Council builds structure, establishes purpose, and removes obstacles that could limit success. This program belongs to our student-athletes, and they determine where we go, both on the field and off.” The leadership council meets regularly with Fitzgerald and coaches throughout the season to discuss both on-field and off-field issues. Another article was written HERE on the impact the leadership council had to turnaround the 2015 season. As future hall of fame Duke men’s basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski has said, “The single most important ingredient after you get the talent is internal leadership. It’s not the coaches’ as much as one single person or people on the team who set higher standards than that team would normally set itself.”
Post by Coach Campbell on Apr 25, 2019 2:46:22 GMT
As an AD I have started what is called a Captains Club where every sport has a “captain” from each grade meet and discuss team issues. The coaches choose the captains because of the athlete’s dedication and leadership to the team. So, we appoint them and hope they become the leader that the team needs. The captains will meet every other week with the Athletic Director for a brain storming/lecture period. During this time the athletes will be introduced to what it means to be a leader and given some ideas on different approaches they can implement with their team. They will also discuss the strategies that they have tried to implement in their team and how it was working. By building this club it allows the captains to collaborate with their peers and discuss the issues that are impacting their team. I tell them this is not a gripe session but a session where they can come together and figure out a way to take situations that has the possibility of harming the team and turn it around and make it a positive bonding experience. One area that we focus on is sportsmanship (character qualities) and how we can recognize and reward someone who has this quality. The captains came up this a simple plan. After every competition the team will come together and vote on a player/players from the other team that showed good sportsmanship. Once identified, the captain and a couple of teammates (different ones are chosen each week) will sit down and write a note to that player/players thanking them for their great sportsmanship on the field. This part of the program helps the athletes see the sportsmanship in others and help them keep the idea of sportsmanship in their thoughts throughout the games that they play. It also helps build leadership qualities in the captains.