When we look at a football team, it is obvious that many factors contribute to the win of a game or the success of a season. Some of the most obvious factors include the player's athletic abilities, offensive and defensive strategies, weather conditions, home field advantage, and most importantly- leadership. Leadership drives teams in all aspects of life, whether in a business environment or a sports environment, as will be discussed in this paper. The purpose of this paper is leadership in football and the ramifications that good and poor leadership has on the performance of the team as a whole. Don Shula is a former professional football coach in the National Football League. He is the winningest coach in NFL history. In his book titled, The Little Book of Coaching, a quote stood out in bold ink, taking up the entire page and summarizes the problems some leaders have. "The problem with most leaders is that they don't stand for anything. And yet, leadership implies movement toward something-a sense of direction". This quote is strong and bold, emphasizing how leadership can make or break the team. "You can't be a successful leader if you don't have a clear idea of what you believe, where you're headed, and what you're willing to go to the mat for. These beliefs were at the heart of everything I did with my coaches and players on the way to building a team that won consistently over many years" (Don Shula, The Little Book of Coaching). Another expert on leadership in football is Louisiana State University's head football coach Nick Saban. He is also an author of a book entitled, A Champion's Tips on How to Lead and Succeed at Work and in Life. Saban has stated that leadership involves many things; setting precedents, showing compassion, and seeing things from other people's perspective. "It all comes down to TEAM; Together Everybody Accomplishes More" (Saban, 127). Being a leader is about getting others to do things better than they thought they could. It is about setting a good example, interacting with people, communicating messages, anticipating problems, holding firm to beliefs, and being flexible enough to evaluate and improve all aspects of the organization. "And to be the most effective leader, you have to be organized" (Saban, 127). There are ten lessons listed in Nick Saban's book on being a great leader. I feel they can be applied to any organization. They are listed below.
Lesson 1: Great leaders stand up when adversity arises. Lesson 2: Great leaders allow the team to take ownership of the rules. Lesson 3: Great leaders embrace future leaders.
Lesson 4: Great leaders lead the orchestra but let them play. Lesson 5: Great leaders pick their battles.
Lesson 6: Great leaders do not rush to make changes because of failure. Lesson 7: Great leaders hire good people.
Lesson 8: Great leaders never force leadership.
Lesson 9: Great leaders are not always popular.
Lesson 10: Great leaders don't have all the answers, but they find them. This paper will show one man's thoughts of leadership through his eyes being a middle school football coach.
This research is based on leadership in football. We gathered information while searching the World Wide Web, reviewing books and the information gathered during our interviews. This paper will identify leadership in football by showing what leadership is, the tasks of leadership, what leaders deal with, the job of a leader and what affects leadership. Members of our group contacted Coach Harry Brewer, head coach of the Hutchison Junior High School Football team and asked him if he would be willing to schedule a meeting with us for an interview. When he agreed each research team member prepared questions that would be helpful during the interview. This approach allowed everyone in the group to have input even though we all couldn't be present during the...
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