In team sports, a combination of players emerge to form a team. In order for the team to work efficiently, it must be furnished well-enough. This is where Coaches come in. Just imagine a team as a whole human being. The players represent the different body systems such as the musculoskeletal and gastrointestinal system.

On the other hand, the coach represents the central nervous system, or commonly known as The Brain. Remember that the brain controls the spontaneous coordination of diversified functions of the mentioned body systems. The same is true with coaching. The coach gives directions to ensure coordination of movements of the players on the court and victorious coaches help athletes to master new skills and let them enjoy competing with others.

There’s a saying that great players emerge from great coaches. Michael Jordan would never become an all-time basketball star without the brilliance of Phil Jackson. How can you possibly develop and enhance your leadership, especially in the sport of basketball?

Leading as a Coach
Leadership is the ability to influence other people to achieve a common goal. A leader has a strong way of affecting how other people think and act. If you want to become a leader, you must know how to become with the team as one.

  1. Develop an absolute Integrity
    Exemplify a solid character that will enable people to trust you. It is important to be consistent in everything you do. People want someone who can be trusted at all times. Be a model and utilize honest communication. You must do what you say to match your actions with your words. Be transparent, and admit your mistakes and weaknesses so that others can be able to relate to you more. You should value humility, because people do not trust those who think that they are better than others. Support others and be willing to help.

    Word is bond! Ensure that when you make a promise, you can fulfill it. You don’t want to break other people’s trust just by a broken promise. Have an attitude to serve. Great leaders are great followers and encourage participation. To be able to influence others, do not manipulate them, instead, let them participate.

    Eddie Robinson once said: »Leadership, like coaching, is fighting for the hearts and souls of men and getting them to believe in you.«.

  2. Nurture other people
    When you lead, you help your players to be the best individual that they can be. The heart of nurturing is showing a genuine concern to others. You cannot enhance one’s self-worth if you think that they are nobody. You must learn to give love, respect, sense of security, encouragement and recognition. Never underestimate the power of recognition. It is by recognizing others people’s hard work that satisfies and motivates them to continue in what they do.

    Nurturing other people means giving them the important tools to succeed in what they do. Help them develop their self-esteem. Self-esteem refers to what, or how, the person thinks about himself. Helping your players to build a good sense of self-esteem enables them to have an increase sense of self-worth. You make them feel that they are important to the team, and that they are part of the group. This increases their willingness to play and get the job done.

    As what Eddie Robinson had said, »Coaching is a profession of love. You can’t coach people unless you love them.«. This is done in a number of ways. Take the time to ask for advice from your players. This tells them that you value their point of views, so give yourself a break to be willing to listen to them, and pay attention to what they say. Give genuine recognitions in their hard work, improvements, and achievements. This can inspire them to exert more effort to develop their abilities. Moreover, influence their perspective. People tend to hold back because of what they think they are not. Lastly, always give hope. As long as there is hope, there is always a way.

    To become a nurturing leader, you should learn to:

    -Be accessible
    -Give without expecting anything in return
    -Give opportunities
    -Lift others to higher levels

  3. Have faith in people
    To achieve a common goal, for example a championship in sports, every member must contribute. A leader cannot do things by himself. Especially in Basketball, you rely in your players to execute well to win games. You cannot delegate a task if you do not trust your people. As a leader, how is it possible to become a believer?

    Make use of the following:

    -Believe in your people even before they succeed.
    -Point out their strengths and abilities.
    -Enlist their past achievements.
    -Raise their self-confidence even when they fail.
    -Share a winning experience with them.
    -Have a vision of their potential successes.
    -Learn how to listen.

    Just by listening you can be able to demonstrate respect, build relationships, enhance knowledge, generate ideas, build loyalty, and help others and yourself. To develop your listening skills, you should consider the following:

    -Focus your attention and look at the speaker.
    -Do not attempt to interrupt if someone is still talking.
    -Try to understand what is being said.
    -Verify your emotions.
    -Avoid making inappropriate judgment.
    -Ask questions to clarify things that you do not understand.
    -Prioritize listening above anything.
  4. Understand other People
    It is easy to influence others if you understand how they think and feel. Lack of understanding creates the tension in the society. It is not good to have that kind of working environment. We decide to understand others when we see their perspective, show empathy, and express a positive attitude.
  5. Develop others through mentoring
    Mentoring is very useful in turning people’s potential into reality. When you mentor others, you do the following:

    -Enhance and broaden their problem solving abilities.
    -Develop and improve gifts.
    -Learn new skills.
    -Improve the use of their talents.
    -Navigate for other people.

    A leader sees more than what other people see. He envisions where his people are going, and where they should be. All he does is to develop his people to help them become what he envisioned them to be.

  6. Empower others
    Empowerment is sharing your influence, your position, power, resources, and opportunities for the best of all. By this way, the leader not only influences his people, but also those who are close to them as well, like family and friends.

Leading as a Player
When the game is played on the court, the coach remains outside the boundaries and players can mostly rely on their selves. As a player, you can also develop yourself to become a leader. In addition to what has been mentioned above, a player can develop his leadership skills in the following ways:

-Recognize that it is all about teamwork.
-Develop a never-say-die attitude.
-Hustle in every play.
-Encourage and applaud your teammates.
-Maintain optimism within the team.
-Get to know your teammates well-enough.
-Do not forget to listen to their ideas.
-Trust and recognize the skills of your teammates.

Anyone can decide become a leader. Always remember that leaders do not manipulate, they enable participation. Treat your people right, and they will serve you right.

Picture credit: mskoglyCreative Commons Attribution