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  • If you only lead by example, you’re a poor leader.

    Now, I’ll preface this with…

    …leading by example IS an effective form of leadership. Because let’s face it.

    Without the example, any commands you give won’t be heard. They’ll be unwanted & ignored. So with a good example as the foundation, you’ll have more influence before you ever speak. And when you do open your mouth, your words will have an impact. They’ll be heard.

    The problem is, too many players stop here. And never use their voice.

    “…but coach, I’m not one of those noisy types.”

    Well, if that’s you, you’re missing a big part of what lifts a team to a higher level. Great leaders don’t have the luxury of minding their own business. And ONLY leading by example is inadequate for those athletes trying to become truly great leaders.

    There’s so many times — away from the court, during practices and games where your voice deeply impacts the performance of your teammates.

    Here’s 4 examples:

    1. Talk during dead ball time.
      • What should you say?
        • Remind someone to block out
        • Check time & score
        • Encourage a teammate
        • Urge tougher defense

    2. Celebrate your teammates publicly
    3. …of course, this isn’t the only way.

      Give meaningful celebrations after practice. Or a short piece of encouragement after a big shot. Or a quick “knock it down” as you make a pass to your teammate.

      All are great ways to use your voice to lead.

    4. How about transition defense?
    5. Yes, it’s good you ran hard and were the first back. But then what?

      Keep your mouth shut and miscommunications are inevitable. If you don’t use your voice to communicate useful information, you’ll give up easy points. And that’s your fault.

      All are great ways to use your voice to lead.

    6. And what about conflict?
    7. And there will be conflict. Leaving the problem to “figure itself out” is a critical mistake. You can’t “hope” your way to a solution. You must have the courageous conversation to resolve the problem.

    The point is, great leaders don’t base their game on hope. They build it on habits. Habits of laser-like communication & brazen courage.

    To become a great leader, constantly:

    • sharpen your communication
    • increase your encouragement
    • tune in to and respond to…

    …the situations & personalities around you.

    Now, don’t get it twisted.

    Real leadership isn’t yelling and telling. That’s a dictator. It’s connecting and directing. It’s encouraging, instructing, and involving yourself in the situation. It takes thought and sensitivity and character and effort. You have to listen, educate, and be patient. Sometimes, you have to struggle & strain. It takes your best efforts & much of the time, it’ll be frustrating & seem hopeless.

    But the effort to be a true leader really does make a difference.

    If you ever find yourself sitting back, assuming it’s not your job to lead because you weren’t elected caption,

    …you’re wrong.

    Can a basketball team have 12 leaders? You bet it can. To be champions, every player must be a leader — not a dictator — but an example setting, encouraging, instructing, involved team player.

    To be a true leader, yes you have to set an example. But as you just read, there’s way more to it than that.

    There’s no question leadership is hard. But, I believe everyone has the capacity to grow in their leadership.

    So what are you waiting for?

    Go out there and lead!

    Adapted from Dick Devenzio.

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    About PGC

    PGC Basketball provides intense, no-nonsense basketball training for players and coaches. Our basketball camps are designed to teach players of all positions to play smart basketball, be coaches on the court, and be leaders in practices, games and in everyday life.

    We combine our unique PGC culture with a variety of teaching methods and learning environments to maximize the learning potential of those that attend our sessions. In addition to spending 6-7 hours on the court each day, lessons will be reinforced through classroom sessions and video analysis.

    Our goal at PGC is to empower you with the tools to fulfill your basketball dreams, while also assisting you in experiencing the joy of the journey.

    To learn more about PGC Basketball, including additional basketball training tips and videos, visit our YouTube Channel or find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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