When your soccer team is one cohesive unit, it makes success that much easier. To achieve that comradery, you need to have a sense of leadership within the team’s structure. World soccer champ and defender Becky Sauerbrunn believes that being a team leader lies in the ability to take others’ strengths to a new level and the capability to emphasize teammates’ best traits.
“I think a good teammate is always trying to make the people around them better, whether that be on the field or off the field,” Sauerbrunn says. “It’s always, ‘What can I do to make them feel more comfortable? How can I push them? How can I bring them to new levels?’”
Sauerbrunn adds that team leaders should understand their leading style. For example, she says that she’s always seen herself as a, “lead by example,” person, so she would try to find more vocal teammates to surround herself with in order to make qualities in others shine.
Lastly, don’t sweat the struggles that will undoubtedly come during your playing career. Sauerbrunn states that your missteps can make you stronger, which she learned through her own experiences.
“It’s a journey and you just have to learn from every experience that you have and make the most of it.”
“What’s beautiful about soccer, as a team sport, is that you’ve got 11 players on a field and they’re all individuals. They all have different personalities, yet somehow, you’re supposed to bring them together for one game plan, one goal and that’s winning the game and performing well. To me, it’s always kind of amazing that we can get so many different individuals with different personalities, strengths and weaknesses and somehow get us all on the same page to win a match.”
Leadership is a great quality to add to your skillset. Take these tips from an acclaimed professional and unite your teammates on the pitch this soccer season.