All successful teams will have a natural-born leader within their roster. These are the players responsible for uniting the team, keeping morale high, and getting everyone ready for a big match. 

If this sounds like you, here are some tips for leading your team to victory.

Set an example

Whatever you expect from your teammates, you need to do yourself. As the leader, you’re responsible for setting an example. If your team acted like you, would you be happy? 

If you want commitment, resilience, and respect from every team member, make sure you’re setting this example. If you regularly skip practices or talk behind someone’s back, other players will think this is acceptable. You need to act exactly how you want your team to. Don’t be surprised if your team copies your bad habits. If they do, you lose the right to criticise them.

Know your team

As the leader, it’s your responsibility to take the time to understand your fellow players. By recognising their strengths and weaknesses, you can incorporate these into any strategies or plans. 

By taking the time to get to know each player, you’ll also know how best to motivate them. Not everyone will respond to the same approach, so it’s important you’re able to adapt.

Team building

To be a successful team, you need to work as one cohesive unit. You can’t be a bunch of separate people who happen to be on the same pitch at the same time. You need to respond to and anticipate each other’s moves, coming together towards the same end goal.

To perform better as a team, try to do some team building. Whether you carry out certain exercises during training or plan a day out for everyone to blow off steam, it’ll help bring you together. We’re not saying you all have to be best friends, but there should be some sort of rapport across the squad. Coming together off the field will help you do the same during a game.

Match day preparations

As the leader of your team, you’ll be expected to lead any match day preparations. You want to establish a routine that helps get everyone’s head in the game. You’ll need to encourage sharp focus, a positive attitude, and a drive to win.

Whether it’s a passionate pep talk before leaving the dressing room or creating a motivational playlist to listen to before every match, find out what works for you. It’s about being consistent and creating a routine that will get everyone on the same page and ready to win.


Sport is between 50-90% a mental game. If you’re negative and focus on previous mistakes or worst-case scenarios, you’ll only be setting your team up for failure.

Try to keep a positive attitude yourself and encourage your team to do the same. Don’t get hung up on previous mistakes, but instead recognise the little victories. Sure, you may have lost the game, but who performed well? Giving credit where it’s due will go a long way in maintaining your team’s motivation. A defeatist attitude will breed more defeats, so always look on the bright side of things.

Leaders in sport are massively important. Your team will look to you for support, guidance, and to set an example. If you naturally fall into a leadership role, make sure you’re doing the best by yourself and your team. By following these tips, you can be confident that you’re doing your part.

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