Saturday, February 18, 2012


Here’s a “no-brainer’ that a coach must always remember: leaders affect the behavior of the world-be/should/be followers. Let me express is another way; players follow the coach’s lead. If the leadership is misguided, the “followers” will be lost — in a variety of ways. Or they will choose not to follow.

Make no mistake about it, athletes not only need effective leadership, they also desire it. Young people want consistent parameters, direction, order, structure, organization, and discipline. They need it, whether they know it or not. It gives them security, and that, in turn, helps them to be more confident.

A leader who knows how to manage athletes can direct their mental and behavioral efforts toward a common goal — a goal established by the leader. This becomes the organizational/team credo. “What we stand for” is the way I put it with players. “What we want and how we go about pursuing it.”

The credo should be one of the first expressions of position power. I have light-heartedly told teams at initial meetings, “We are a controlled democracy here. You have the freedom to do whatever you want — as long as I approve.”

From "Coaching the Mental Game" by H. A. Dorfman