Being a Leader

Q: I want to be more of a leader on my squad, but I’m not the most outspoken person. How can I lead my teammates without having to stand and talk in front of everyone?

Sometimes it seems like the leader is always at the front of the pack. Everyone looks at them and listens to what they have to say, so that must mean they have great leadership skills, right? Well, not necessarily. Speaking in front of a group is just one of the many characteristics a leader can have. It may be the most effective way to get a group’s attention, but a true leader doesn’t just give commands at the front of the mat all day.

If you want to lead your team towards a goal, you must become what you want your teammates to be. When you embody everything you wish for your team, they will see the results of your dedication and hard work and try to follow your habits. This will also require you to help them whenever they can’t quite pick up a cheer, tumbling pass or stunt. They should feel comfortable coming to you with any question or concern they have about the team or their skills, so think of yourself as their own personal cheerleader!

It is absolutely possible (and important) to utilize leadership qualities from the inside of your team. Commanding your squad at the front lines is only a small part of your leadership role. A great leader cares about each person’s success and experience on the squad and is a living example of what everyone is trying to accomplish. When you become someone they can look up to and rely on for help, your teammates will feel confident about following your lead.

– Abby Murphy