We can’t all be leaders in the traditional sense. Similar to “if everyone is special, then no one is special,” being a leader by nature should mean that there are non-leaders for which to lead.
But there are many different kinds of leaders, and for that reason, virtually any lacrosse player can be a leader at something, or in some category.
Jeff Janssen of Janssen Sports Leadership Center believes that athletic teams have 5 kinds of leaders:
The 5 Kinds of Leaders Every Team Needs to Be Successful include:
1. Performance Leaders (Competition Captains)
2. Locker Room Leaders (Culture Captains)
3. Social Leaders (Chemistry Captains)
4. Organizational Leaders (Campus Captains)
5. Reserve Leaders (Sub Captains)
He proceeds to describe the traits and value of these leaders in his blog; here is a quick summary.
“Competition Captains… provide the strong vocal leadership necessary to help your team perform to its potential during practices and certainly come game day.” These players are described as similar to coaches on the field, as this role requires a commitment to success, the confidence and strong work ethic to verbally encourage or direct other players, and a strong competitive personality.
Janssen describes Locker Room Leaders as players who “mold, monitor, and maintain your team’s culture into one that is positive and productive for your program. In their role as Culture Captains, they determine and dictate what is acceptable and unacceptable to do in your program, both on and off the field.”
Every team has its Social Leaders. “They focus on the relationships of your team and how well people bond together. They look to connect with teammates on a regular basis and often plan various social events to get everyone to get to know each other at a deeper level, especially outside of your sport.”
Organizational Leaders “[T]hese leaders keep your team involved and engaged with what is happening on campus and in the community. They often plan various campus programs and community service events.” They strive to boost the team’s reputation and visibility within the community and the school.
Reserve Leaders. “Your Reserve Leaders lead the second and third string athletes on your team.” Their role is to keep this segment proud of themselves, hopeful, and generally upbeat.
I personally believe that there are other perspectives on the types of leaders our HGR players are, but my take on this article is that every team has many leaders, and also that every team member is important to the team.