For me, it was also about tactical advantage. For example, a few times our team needed time to settle, and it is important to realise this as a captain and perhaps see if you can delay the pace of the game. Of course, this didn’t go down well with the umpires, because they wanted things to run as orderly as possible.
I played with a natural leader – John Nichols. He was a fantastic captain who had an ability to rise up to the challenges. He had natural coping mechanisms and skills that helped him deal with problems both on and off the field.
Young players can learn from these great leaders, but I do believe lots of young players need to develop their leadership on the field initially. As you grow and learn more skills from those around you regarding coaches and other captains, then you can deal more with the relationship issues and the off-field demands that will come later as a professional player. When you’re young, you’ve got other things to think about – you’re getting the physical conditioning right, learning about tactical awareness and the technical aspects of the game. There is a place for leadership mentoring in today’s game, but only once the young player has these basic fundamentals in place.
- an extract from Secrets of Winning Coaches Revealed