Sports Leadership

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A sports leader communicates, organises and motivates a group of people and promotes participation for the involvement within sport. A leader needs to set examples for others to follow, young children look up to leaders and follow their ways so good examples being set are always important. All sessions need to be organised this way the leader can keep on top of the session and new skills and be learnt so both improvement and enjoyment can be achieved to the maximum.

Leaders help with development and involvement within sporting activities they have to have good social skills understand the level that participants are at and how they can improve and have good motivation so the participant wants to participate and improve to harder skills. How is a sports leader different from a coach? A sports coach is different from a leader as they work with performers and help to teach the harder skills. Whereas leaders work more towards getting participants involved within sport and making sure they have a good time and want to continue with the sport.

One of the characteristics of an effective sports leader is empathy. Empathy is showing an understanding of how the other person feels when participating in sport. Young children need encouragement and praise when trying new skills so putting yourself in their shoes helps you as a leader to understand how the participant is feeling. An example is leading a netball catching session and one child can’t catch well. You should put your self into their shoes and to consider how they are feeling and to ensure you don’t upset them or embarrass them.

Explaining and going through the skills step by step with the child encouraging them throughout will give the child confidence and help them achieve what they want to. Confidence is a characteristic of an effective sports leader. Confidence is feeling comfortable in the activity you are carrying out putting in maximum effort to engage all participants. If you are confident leading your session this will show and participants will pick up on this if you aren’t confident and your participants realise then they will push boundaries more creating a harder session to run.

An example of this is if you are teaching a young restless group and they realise you are a bit wary of what you are leading they will take advantage and the session and take things into their own hands, such as playing with equipment when they should be listening and not following all commands. Another example is when leading a group that is good at sport they will need to be pushed and given activities that will make them work hard. Being confident means you will be able to try new and more complex games keeping the participants interested and motivated. Being approachable is important if you are going to be an effective sports leader.

Participants need to be able to approach their sports leader with confidence knowing that they will listen to then and help them out. Different people will need help in different ways if a participant is struggling and wants ask for help then the sports leader needs to be approachable otherwise the participant will not want to ask for help. A sports leader needs to have boundaries they need to be friendly and approachable but they can’t have to good a friendship especially when working with young children as there are many laws and regulations that can effect leaders.

An example of being approachable is if a child finds a skill hard but doesn’t feel confident in front of everyone to speak up he/she may want to speak to the leader quietly so they can have extra support. A characteristic of being an effective sports leader is being enthusiastic. Enthusiastic leaders come across as showing great excitement and interest in the activity. Being enthusiastic will get the whole group excited, interested and ready to be involved in the activities taking place.

An example is if you enter the room ready to go and getting every body’s attention immediately then everyone will be engaged and ready to take part. Whereas if you casually come in and make the session sound tedious then the participants aren’t going to be interested and not motivated for the session ahead. One of the most important roles of an effective sports leader is top be a role model. A role model is someone that sets an example. A coach needs to set a high standard in professionalism and have the trust of their athletes at all times.

These qualities will help the coach succeed in being positive role model. To set a good example a leader needs to behave sensibly, wear correct dress code such as wearing trainers with no jewellery on, having the right attitude and having good sportsman ship. Another important role of being a sports leader is to be a good communicator. Sports leaders need to be good communicators to get the best out of their group. They need to be able to know how to explain activities in the correct way so everybody understands. Leaders need to possess a willingness to listen to input with an open mind.

Two-way communication, being approachable and having an “open door” policy makes for very good team relations. This is so players feel that they can ask for help and speak to the sports leader with ease. The way that the leader communicates and leads a team can play a big part in their motivation to want to join in and enjoy the sport. An example of good communication is when a player comes to ask for help and the leader understands and helps the players out so when the player leaves the session he/she feels happy and has enjoyed the session.

Being a motivator is a vital role of an effective sports leader. Sports leaders need to be able to motivate their group to keep them interested in the sport. Children don’t have very long attention spans and get bored very quickly so it is important to keep the sessions different and as interesting as possible. Giving goals and targets for the group to reach will make younger children want to take part. An example of keeping children motivated during a football shooting session is to set them a realistic target to score a number of goals by the end of the session.

Some children will do better than others so a realistic target for each child needs to be given or the less able participants wont want to take part if they feel they can’t do it and the able participants wont find it challenging enough and it will be tedious. Being a sports leader means taking on the role of being an educator. An educator is to teach skills and techniques in the chosen sport and to provide knowledge of how and when to apply these skills when taking part in their sport.

As all players are at different levels of ability and levels of learning, the leader needs to adapt their teaching style and methods to suit the performer. An example of being a good educator is being able to teach a group of players and different abilities and being able to deliver a session that can reach everyone’s needs. A bad example would be a sports leader that concentrated on specific players and ignoring the ones that are less able. Less able players will need more attention that the ones that can do the skills, if they don’t have the attention they need then player will not want to participate in sport.

An effective sports leader needs to have a good knowledge on a range of sports. Having a good knowledge of the sport you are leading is vital to become a good sports leader. It is essential that you understand tactical and technical aspects of the sport you are leading. You must have a good understanding of its laws and rules. An advantage of having a good knowledge on a range of sports is that if a leader was put on the spot and asked to run a session then he/she will be able to fill in. Different sports can be mixed into sessions to make them more interesting.

A sports leader will need to understand health and safety responsibilities. Health and safety is an essential element in sporting environments. Sport leaders need to be able to minimise risks before and during the session, with the performer’s welfare as their priority. An example of good health and safety would be the leader checking the area before the session begins so participants don’t get injured from debris or broken equipment. Sports leaders need to have a good knowledge of legal responsibilities. Leaders need to be fully aware of their legal obligations.

Although they have obligations within the rules and regulations of their sport, leaders are like any other citizen bound by the laws of the land. They must have the knowledge of how the law affects their coaching and the athletes under their supervision. To be a good sports leader needs to understand participant’s needs. As a sports leader participants needs have to be put first. Participants needs can either be health needs such as understanding what health requirements they need or it can be their ability playing the sport.

Player’s needs are important as being a sports leader is about promoting participation in sport, therefore the player needs to be happy playing the sport and want to continue taking part. An example of understanding participant’s needs is if a player is struggling to keep up with play due to the fact they are breathless and have asthma then the sports leader needs to take the player off and give them time to rest and prepare themselves to rejoin the sport. There are many sports leaders throughout the world of sport. Sports leaders are all at different levels and all have different levels of experience.

I am going to look at 3 sports leaders in my area and look at how they are all at different stages of being a sports leader. The sports leaders I am going to look at are, Miss Howden, Sue Anderson and Connie Evans. Miss Howden is a P. E teacher therefore she is at a high level of sports leadership this is because she has gained experience throughout her years of teaching. She specialises in specific sports such as netball and hockey but she is also able to adapt to different sports and teach them to a range of abilities as well.

Miss Howden is always leading sessions therefore she is confident and able to deliver session well through her experience and practise. Miss Howden is a good educator as she has gained qualifications in teaching this gives her an advantage when leading sessions as she has an in depth knowledge of how to put sessions across she has also learnt from her experience and adapted to different methods to suit different needs. Connie on the other hand doesn’t have any qualifications and very little experience therefore her sessions aren’t as fulfilling as Miss Howden’s sessions.

In between Miss Howden and Connie is Sue, she hasn’t had any teacher training but has picked up the role of being an educator through her experience in leading a range of sessions. Miss Howden is a good planner and organiser, as she has to do lesson plans for all of her lessons in case for any reason she cannot make that session somebody will be able to cover that lesson for her. She is good a organising as she has to organise a range of fixtures for her schools teams such as netball and hockey.

She also has to organise her time outside of work to ensure she can fit in all the marking that is required for her lessons. Sue is also a very good organiser, as she has to arrange sessions so children from the community can participate in sporting activities. Is Sue never had organisation skills then the sessions wouldn’t go ahead. Connie’s organisation skills are good but still developing as she leads and organises more sessions. Sue Anderson is a community sports leader therefore she is also always leading sessions in different sports and at different abilities.

Her main sport is netball and can work with players that are at a high level whereas in sports such as tennis where she hasn’t got as much knowledge and experience she is still able to lead sessions to a good standard. Connie Evans has been a sports leader for a just over a year so is still learning a lot about leading sessions. Although she has knowledge on netball it isn’t as good and others such as Sue and Miss Howden. Connie is best when teaching basic skills to new players, as this doesn’t have to go into too much detail.

Sue is a very enthusiastic leader and is always up for playing sport this affects the way people participate in her sport, they are always whiling to participate and ready to start the sessions. Miss Howden and Connie are both good motivators but Connie needs to develop more confidence then she will be able to motivate the participants better. Sue’s takes her role as a Guardian well she always puts participants first and thinks of their needs this is so parent fell comfortable with letting their children stay for sessions and so they children feel that they have had a good time and want to continue with the sport.

Miss Howden and Connie both also take this role well all sports leaders need to remember that they are the person in charge and parents are trusting the sports leader with there children. Sue knows a range of techniques for different skills this is because she leads different sport session’s everyday and has picked up techniques through courses and experience. Miss Howden is also good at teaching different techniques in different sports through her experience from teaching. Connie had got good knowledge of techniques but only in particular sports such as netball and dance her knowledge will grow in time as she leads more sessions.

Connie is good at setting realistic goals and challenges for the participants she is in charge of. All of her participants enjoy the sessions she runs because they have realistic challenges that they are able to reach. Miss Howden and Sue are also good at setting realistic goals for their participants. Connie is reliable and committed to the sports sessions she leads, as she wants to do the best she possible can, as she wants to become a sports leader and learn from her experience.

Sue and Miss Howden are also reliable and committed especially to the teams that they run they will always go out of their way to help the team members so they feel happy and are enjoying their time playing sport. Connie is a good role model always wearing correct kit, turning up on time, having the correct attitude and motivated to start her sessions This is important in being a sports leader as participants learn from their peers, Miss Howden and Sue have learnt this through their time of leading sports sessions therefore have had good practise at doing this and know what participants are likely to pick up.

Connie is always positive towards her participants giving them praise when they carry out tasks correctly and to a good standard. Even when participants aren’t doing as well she gives them positive feedback to help them to continue the sessions and get them to the goals they want to. Miss Howden and Sue are also aware and good at giving positive feedback to participants. They both know this is important as this can affect a participants self-esteem and can effect their ability to achieve higher goals.

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