Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Team Leaders?

Every team needs a leadership council. Having team leaders in the locker room brings a team’s culture to life, creates a climate of accountability, and gives team members ownership.

Team Leaders, Team Captains, Leadership Council, Coaching, Leadership, Team Culture, Sport Psychology, Mental Toughness, Resilience, Mental Conditioning

Roles and Responsibilities

The challenges for coaches I’ve worked with is determining how to empower the athletes on their leadership council. One group of coaches I spoke with recently told me they had a leadership group but that the team leaders weren’t fulfilling the roles the coaches envisioned.

We discussed several strategies to help empower these team leaders to step up and lead their teammates well.

3 Ways to Empower Your Leadership Council

Here are 3 strategies coaches like you can use to empower your leadership council too.

1. Provide Clear Expectations

Team leaders need guidance. They need to know their purpose and key tasks. Think of it like a job description.

For example, “I need you to model a positive attitude and strong work ethic and exemplify our team values and standards.”

2. Invite Ownership

Extend a pre-determined degree of authority to your leadership council. Empower your leaders to uphold team standards and rules. This is one way to create a climate of accountability.

Invite team leaders to have a voice in team operations and decisions.

Afford your leaders with privileged information, insight, and devision making authority beyond that given to the rest of the team. Ask them for ideas to improve the team environment (ie., locker room or dugout). Encourage them to take initiative to improve the team’s performance (ie., workouts, drills, rotations).

3. Mediate the Team

Allow your leadership council to serve as an intermediary between the team and coaching staff. Encourage them to mentor younger players.

Empower your leaders to intervene with team issues and concerns (ie., drama). When these issues need to be brought to the coaching staff, ask your leaders to speak on the behalf of the team.

This isn’t meant to replace your open door policy. It simply provides a line of communication that allows for growth and efficiency within the team.

Bonus Download

To help you get the most out of your team leaders, download this coach’s checklist: 8 Tips for Empowering Your Leadership Council.

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Empower Your Leaders to Lead

Yes, it’s important to have a leadership council. However, without purpose, responsibilities, and authority, their ability to positively impact the team will be stymied.

Empower your team leaders to be a conduit for the team’s vision, values, and standards. Give them permission to hold others accountable. Invite an open and collaborative environment where everyone is invested in the team’s success. Empower your leadership council to lead.

Question: What are you already doing to empower your team leaders?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below, or on Facebook or Twitter.


Please note: I encourage reader discussion, however, I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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