In today’s world, dynamic and charismatic leadership can play a pivotal role in the success of many sports.
Undeniably, leadership is the art of leading a group of diverse nature in an organized way to attain the collective and concerted objective. It can be emotional as well as rational. A good leader always knows the strengths and weaknesses of his team in addition to being aware of threats and opportunities. Thus, the role of the leader in sports is critical in accomplishing the mission. Indeed, a strong leader has the quality to keep all players united towards a set target.
A strong leader leading from the from can affect other team members in many ways. He can motivate and boost the morale and confidence of his team. There are numbers of evidence when the coaches or captains of teams acted as a sheer influence in the success of the team and led towards unbelievable victories. Thus, the dynamism and charisma of the leader make tremendous results in sports.
If you look at the people leading teams, in the capacity of coach or captain, you will come across various leadership styles. The coaches or team captains need to have a variety of skills. However, these leadership styles like autocratic leaders, Democratic leaders, and LaissezFaire leaders are common in sports these days.
Autocratic leaders believe in all-powerful and absolute decision-making. As a matter of fact, this leadership style controls all sorts of decisions and rarely takes inputs from other group members. They always try to accomplish things instantly but efficiently. They believe in centralization and do not think so in the consultation process, and make authoritative policies of their own. They are win-focused and depict themselves steadfast while coaching or dealing in the briefings. This style of coaching can be better placed where players are older and mature because older plays might have the discernment to understand why strict instructions are being issued in respect of particular situations.
On the other hand, this autocratic style of leadership may not work in respect of youth players level. Because at this level, interactive coaching is needed to understand the behaviors of the young players. However, the autocratic style of leadership is useful when prompt decisions are required regarding groups or teams as a whole. For instance, during exercises and warm-up sessions, teams should be dealt with in an autocratic manner to streamline.
Unlike the autocratic style of leadership, democratic leaders believe in the descent delegation of authority. Their leadership style counts on the consultation processes. They always share their ideas and policies with others while making decisions. It is undeniable, they have good interpersonal skills and thereby develop good relationships with other teammates. They repose trust in their players to take responsibility with confidence. Thus, these types of democratic leaders rely on athletes to a greater extent. It has been observed that this type of leadership has worked for individual sports such as table tennis, tennis, boxing, or field events.
Moreover, youth also like this style, and it suits them as well. This helps develop a sense of responsibility and control at an early stage. Besides, this style is also suitable when the groups are smaller and time constraints do not matter.
As a matter of fact, this style is contrary to the autocratic leadership style because the laissez-faire leader takes a few decisions and gives liberty to his players to use their skills independently. This style may not produce the desired outcomes due to the ineffectiveness of a leader. Due to this leadership style, players get uncontrollable and concede defeat readily due to a lack of check and balance and a sense of accountability.
Considering the level of team and nature of the game, no single leadership style in sports can be said to be sufficient for all. At times, teams comprising the senior and mature members understand things quickly and strive for the set goal as per the given instructions of the coach or captains. At the same time, the players at the early stages of their sports career need a different leadership style than that of the seniors and amateurs. Therefore, the most successful coach or a captain must have a host of skills whereby he could use all three leadership styles depending on the situation.