Every team needs leadership. It takes a special range of characteristics to excel as a leader who is inclusive, accepting and respectful both on and off the pitch. Parents/family, coaches, sports officials, administrators, and teachers are influential role models for sport participation and healthy behaviours.
Leaders and ambassadors may have an expert skill level and a keen understanding of football, or have skills in other areas such as the board, team manager or marketing where they can have a positive impact. Leaders typically possess effective interpersonal skills, such as the ability to successfully communicate with, motivate and appreciate others. They must also be accountable, flexible and patient and maintain the same amount of integrity they expect from their club members.
They may either be task-oriented or person-oriented. Task-oriented leaders are most interested in training, instructing behaviour, performance and winning. Person-oriented leaders are more interested in the interpersonal relationships on the team. Great leaders in sports are both task- and people-oriented but lean more towards being task-oriented.
Leaders and ambassadors are vital in sporting clubs as they are a select group of people who lend their weight to an issue, and through their diversity, reach and credibility have an influence to a number of key audiences.
Some of the characteristics leaders and ambassadors should hold include -
Treat everyone in the club with respect
Lead by example
Be visionary and motivate fellow club members
Inclusive of all members – regardless of background, ability, gender, race, experience, sexual orientation, or identity
Ability to influence other leaders – including board, coaches, sponsors, media
Good communication skills and engagement with members, volunteers, players, fan, stakeholders