Different Types of Leaders on a Team

group walking down the hill with one person ahead

But I’m Not the Captain, So How Can I Be a Leader?

You don’t have to be the loudest, the most talkative, or the best to be a leader on the team. Teams need all sorts of players and leaders in order to be successful. So what types of leaders are there? How do you know which one you are?

Most Common Types of Leaders

  • The Captain(s). These teammates are usually the most obvious. These are the players everyone look up to, the coaches rely on when they aren’t there, and lead the team on and off the court.
  • The Hot Shot. This is the teammate that is talked about most in regards to stats. They could be the lead scorer, a shutdown defender, or maybe a mixture of both. The Hot Shot is who you look to when setting goals and for tips to improve. One thing with this player, they can only be a leader if they can still work well with their team and not just try to do everything on their own.
  • Leader of the Bench. This leader may not always feel like a leader because they do not get as many minutes as other players. However, they are the one keeping up the energy on the bench, keeping everyone focused on the game, and supporting their team throughout the wins, mistakes, losses, and amazing plays.

Other Types

  • The One that Keeps It Light. This leader is the teammate that can diffuse any tension, is able to make even the toughest drill fun, and brings high energy during practices and competitions. This leader is an asset to the team because they can get the team through tough losses and help minimize the tension.
  • Locker Room Powerhouse: The LRP is the teammate that gets everyone ready for practice and competition. They have high energy, know if you need to be pumped up or relaxed, and know exactly how to get get the team where they need to be for success.
  • Grade Level Leader: These teammates are the ones that can lead their own group (first years, sophomores, juniors, seniors, grad students). They make sure everyone feels included whether they are starting, a sub, or practice player. They often do get-togethers for their grade level and make sure that they have that connection that will last through every season.
  • Organization Hero: This teammate is the one that makes sure everyone has what they need before they head to practice/competitions, they ensure everyone has a ride when needed, and do anything else where organization is involved. This leader is often the glue of the team.

I Don’t Fit in the Above

There may be other ones not listed or maybe you have a qualities from different leader categories. Even if you do not fit the exact mold of one above, think about the qualities they have and think about the qualities you possess: there is overlap. You do not have to fit one mold to be a leader on your team.

Breakdown of the Types of Leaders

chart of the different types of leaders on a team

Content Created by Kathryn Colby, M.Ed.

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