The benefits of developing leaders in your club

For an organisation to function, it requires the time and effort of volunteers and leaders. It is important not to overwhelm a few with the significant  responsibility to keep an organisation running. By creating a new pathway for leaders, you can make a direct pathway into a leadership position  within the organisation and work to develop the skills of those involved. To develop new leaders effectively, you need to nurture an atmosphere  and belief that anyone can become a leader and that they will be supported in the process. Empower athletes to push themselves and broaden  their horizons. Talk to them about their goals and progress, and ask how you and your organisation can support them.

One way to grow the confidence and the ability of those wanting to move into leadership roles is to give them a set of tasks with increasing  responsibility attached to them. This helps potential leaders gain self-confidence in their skills and empowers them to take over higher  responsibility roles. More people willing to step into leadership and responsibility roles benefits your organisation. It spreads jobs evenly across  the committee, preventing overworking and overburdening your volunteers.  

Generally speaking, there are two leadership roles: coaching and administrative management. 

Coaching: On a coaching development pathway, players can start taking small responsibilities during training or games: 

  • Assisting the coach in preparing drills  
  • Supervising the execution of a drill 
  • Leading demonstrations for beginners in school or events 
  • Becoming a team leader or even captain 

In this pathway, the player must develop hard skills about playing tactics, how to structure a drill to reach a training goal, etc., and soft ones, like  how to explain drills and give feedback. 

Management: Other people have strengths in organisational aspects, which are also very important in an association. There are a variety of tasks needed in the  administration: 

  • Providing content for social media and marketing 
  • Organising something for the team 
  • Networking with other associations 
  • Becoming a board member 

Involving leaders in an early phase of their playing career can strengthen their identification with the association. It increases the chances that,  once their playing career is over, they will still be part of it in a leadership role.  

Ultimate, like many sports, is strongly reliant on volunteer work. Team captains often are also in the role of playing coaches, meaning they are  responsible for the tactics, development and performance of the team as a whole. However, it is also important that these playing coaches can  focus on their game performance. Dividing such coaching responsibilities onto a non-playing leader's shoulders is an excellent investment in the  future and a necessity for the welfare of the players in the club. In mixed teams, roles should be equally distributed, taking care not to have  overlapping responsibilities.  

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With the support of the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.