Thursday, July 25, 2013

Youth Basketball: What Makes A Basketball Player a Great Leader

What Makes A Basketball Player a Great Leader And Teammate?

Lamar Hull at Inspirational Basketball is the guest blogger for this post.

Strong leadership on the basketball court is a key component to having a unified, successful, and winning team. Leadership does not always come directly from the coach, but can come from within the team itself. Typically, a leader emerges from the team. Some people are born with natural leadership abilities and others have to strive and work hard to obtain that same quality.

There is a saying in the sports that holds true for all sport’s teams, "there is no I in team". A leader will excel as an individual player, while simultaneously helping to improve the effectiveness of the entire team. The first and most important key to becoming a successful team player is to know the game inside and out. Knowing the actions and talents of your fellow teammates will help the strength of the team to prosper.

Leaders are exceptional team players. Usually, a team player does not often have to be the most talented player to be the leader. Skills and natural talent of course help with leadership, but are not required. The leaders is typically the most vocal and leads by example. A leader needs to know the rules of the game, player's positions, duties and the team’s plays. This is one of the most important aspects of a leader, they have to be unselfish. One reason I exceled at being a leader on the basketball court was because I would never quit, no matter the score. A leader must have confidence in themselves and their team; this is a pedigree for a successful team.

Most importantly, along with those other attributes stated above, a leader must set high standards for their team and themselves in order to provide high quality leadership. Here are a few more attributes of a leader. They are on time to practice and games, usually the first player in the gym and usually the last one to leave, hardworking, and they put their heart and soul into producing great outcomes for their team.

An example of a great leader was Michael Jordan when he played with the Chicago Bulls through the late 1980's and 1990's. During this time he was considered a leader and great player because of the character he portrayed on and off the court. Jordan won the NBA's MVP award five times between 1987 and 1998, held the scoring title seven times from 1987 thru 1993, and then three more times since 1995-1998. Michael could not have won 6 championships without his teammates and in every interview he made sure to mention his teammates in the team’s success.

Michael Jordan showed leadership qualities from a very young age. Michael didn't make it onto his high school team when he first tried out. With his perseverance and dedication to become part of a team, he tried out the next year, and so began his basketball career as a team leader.

Leaders and great teammates are not made. Anyone can be a leader if they dedicate themselves to becoming successful communicators and hard-workers. Stats Dad talks about how to lead with passion. This is definitely a characteristic that a leader should have. It doesn’t take talent to lead with passion, it takes heart!

Author: Lamar Hull is a former basketball player for Davidson College and was a great leader on the court because he put his teammates before himself. Because of Lamar’s leadership he was awarded a professional contract to play in Europe. You can follow Lamar @lamarhull20

The Main Point

There is some great advice in this post, especially for the player who is not the superstar talent on the team. Coaches, fans and teammates appreciate the less talented but scrappy kid who out hustles everyone on the court to get it done.


  1. Leaders also know how to pull the best out of their teammates. They encourage and support and turn a group of people into a real team. They don't have to be the best at everything but they know how to get the best out of everyone and turn that into a winning combination.

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