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Do sports actually teach leadership?

Stashed in: LINSANITY, Sports Illustrated

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There's only one or maybe two captains.

Does anyone else learn to be a leader? Aren't they just followers?

Everyone has an opportunity to be a leader:

One crucial skill business leaders acquire from team sports is motivation. Robert Maffei, president of Maffei Landscape Contractors, a $7 million company in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, played football in high school. "Once a week, the coach would blow a whistle and yell 'Bring it in!" he recalls. "We'd get on one knee in front of him and have a meeting."

During that meeting, the coach would designate players of the week, and each honoree wore a sticker on his helmet with pride.

You don't have to be a captain to lead the team, especially in any given game. Every individual has an opportunity to step up for the team.

You can actually learn a lot about leadership from watching sports. Seeing how coaches deal with teams and hearing their speeches are great examples, especially as there are many kinds of coaches and so you see different possibilities.

I don't think doing sports teaches leadership, unless you are thrust into that role.

Some people are born leaders but your use of the phrase "thrust into that role" suggests that some leaders are made once they find the right context.

Is that right?

Are some people born leaders, or perhaps they took that position later? I think people play roles and can move between these roles when the situation changes. Your question talked about sports. Take for example Kobe Bryant, or Rajon Rondo. Players who were very far from being leaders and became so (preferring before to play the loner-genius role). Lebron James supposedly plays the leader, but not very well.

Historical and literary examples of Henry the Vth (or The Green Hornet).

Supposed I led the group of friends in grade school, does that makes me a born leader? If it was high school, middle school? That is, I think a leader comes with a specific situation. Take Obama - is he a leader? He is the leader of the free world, and yet his ability to be a leader often comes into question (by some; I'm not taking a position).

Returning to sports. People hope that playing sports may thrust people into a position where they have to become the leader, and that this will translate to being a leader in other areas life. I don't think that happens. I did hear that sportsmen and sportswomen claim that learning to be on time was the most important lesson they learned, which perhaps somewhat fits more with your "followers" description.