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TeamReadyGED: The Leader

Every team needs a leader. Someone that can take charge and direct the process, support the staff, captains and players, and allow the team and players to learn how to work hard, discipline themselves and get better as athletes, teammates and people. In this way, an effective leader needs to be able to lead, follow and get out of the way.

These words have been attributed to several powerful leaders through the ages and now they are in the public domain. They were used basically as a demand to step up and lead, join in the effort and do what you can to help the cause but don’t get in our way.

Here's how they relate to LeadFollowGED.

Lead: To lead is to take charge of the situation, to communicate effectively and to give excellent direction and feedback.

Follow: To follow is to support the process and operate at acceptance, to be positive at all times and actively participate in the solution.

Get out of the way: To get out of the way is to allow the staff, captains and players to make their own decisions within reason and to be responsible for resolving issues and building a strong and cooperative team system. 


Grateful, Excited and Devoted enhances the ability to lead, follow and get out of the way.

Gratitude– Provides the awareness you need to lead: to know and feel the “why” behind your intentions and the expectations you have for your staff, captains and players and be strong and confident as you give excellent direction and feedback.

To lead in this way, you need to build trust: be consistent, genuine and honest. 

Excitement–The energy you need to “follow:” to have an abundance of fire and passion for coaching. The fire is the intensity that will allow you to learn how to settle down and get through the fear and anger related to the upsets, disappointments and issues. 

The passion will keep you coming back year after year, season after season and keep working on being a better leader and building a culture that promotes hard work, discipline and togetherness. 

To lead in this way, you need to be open, accepting and able to express your own truth. 


The power of conviction that allows you to get out of the way: to trust your staff, captains and players to balance the results that don’t measure up to the expectations. To reflect on the situation, learn and grow from their efforts and make really good decisions in moving forward. 

To lead in this way you need to have the courage and confidence to inspire others to work harder than they ever thought they could, to sacrifice their own gains for the team and enjoy the process, and to love and accept each other.

Peter Balding, Legendary Volleyball Player, Coach and Teacher speaks to the challenge of leading today’s youth.

“To be an effective leader and coach you must be able to build solid relationships with your staff, captains and players and guide your staff, captains and players in the process of developing solid relationships with each other. The issue is the ability to communicate:

1. The important directions and strategy needed to be “in solution” (make adjustments) during moments of intense competition.

2. The negative feelings (anxiety, frustration, and anger) related to mistakes, poor performances and losing.”

Bill Curry, Former NFL player, Big Time College Coach and All–American College Player speaks to the coach that had the biggest impact on him. 

“I was a junior at Georgia Tech and frustrated beyond belief. I was not getting to play. The word was that I didn’t ‘want it' and my feet were slow. One day after practice our offensive line coach John Robert Bell showed up at my locker. He asked if I would meet him the next day before practice to work on my feet. I agreed wholeheartedly and as he walked away he stopped, looked me in the eye and said, ‘Son, you can play.’ ”

That was it! Coach John Robert did help me with my feet but most of all he ‘lit my fire’ and my spirit was back. I’m grateful to Coach John Robert for giving me the direction, support and belief that I could play. His act of leadership and acceptance changed my career. I did play for 12 more years and football has been the foundation of my life for the last 60 years!