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Poor Sports Leaders

Kristin Herman provides advice for sports leaders on how to avoid inappropriate characteristics.

High school sports can be fun and even open doors to opportunities once you graduate. However, when leading your teams to victory, it is essential to do so the right way. How? By being an effective leader with heart and soul. Being a lousy leader has no place in any sport. Leaders will not get to the top by being negative and vicious towards their teammates. And besides, people can tell when you are selfish and demanding. How can you become an effective sports leader that people can look up to? Here are seven characteristics of a “bad” sports leader that you must avoid.

Bullying Teammates

“Bullying might seem like an effective negotiation tactic, especially when it comes to sports,” says Issac Waterfield, a psychology writer at Paper Fellows and State of writing. “However, this tactic has proven time and time again been ineffective, because that only promotes fear and resentment towards the leader.”

Instead of being a bully on your sports team, try to be kind and understanding to your teammates. Be a role model, not a dictator. Being a role model helps you nurture social relationships with your team while valuing each person as people

Not Using Effective Communication

It is vital to have effective communication with your teammates, especially when:

  • Strategizing future plays on the field
  • Figuring out the best training techniques that can improve gameplay
  • Communicating with fellow players both on and off the playing field
  • Offering additional support to fellow teammates

Without effective communication, teammates will be scared to ask for help or advice, and leaders will fail at leading the team.

Not Being Self-Aware

Self-awareness is crucial because it allows you to understand yourself and impact others. With self-awareness, you will have:

  • A sense of motivation
  • Knowledge of your strengths and weakness
  • The ability to manage your emotions, even when things get heated
  • Knowledge of how your thoughts and actions affect others around you

If you lack these, then it is time to check yourself. Understand that no one is perfect – not even you. And, understand you and your team are in it for the same goal(s).


When you are in a game, your teammates will look to you for direction. Therefore, you cannot go on the field without a plan, or else strategies will fall apart and cost your team the win. Be sure to have consistent goals and strategies, and share them with your team to avoid indecisiveness. It will ensure that everyone on the team is on the same page.


While praising teammates for their performance is a good thing, it is not okay to only focus on the “best” performing player on the team. Why not give attention to every single player on the team? Show every player that they are valuable.

Publicly Shaming Teammates

“There will be times when someone on the team will make one or two mistakes during a high-stakes game,” says Connor Wyatt, a sports blogger at Lia Help and Oxessays. “However, it is never okay to shame them publicly for making mistakes. Public shaming can make teammates feel belittled and worthless in the face of so many, thus leading to problems with self-esteem.”

Instead, be open to people making mistakes. If teammates make the same mistakes over and over, then civilly talk to them, rather than chastise them for their “incompetency.” Be the motivator, not the belittler.


Finally, arrogance has no place on any sports team. While it is hard not to be upset at certain things and certain people, it is still important to stay calm no matter the situation. Plus, close-mindedness gets you nowhere; open-mindedness, on the other hand, lets you understand people and situations better. While you may not know everything about your sport, there is nothing wrong with learning from others.


You see, a lot can go wrong if you lead your sports team poorly with the negative characteristics discussed here. Therefore, it is essential to learn from past mistakes, do not let people or situations get you down, and be a good role model for those who look up to you. When you act like a true leader, you can effectively lead your team in any game - win or lose.

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • HERMAN, K. (2021) Poor Sports Leaders [WWW] Available from: [Accessed

About the Author

Kristin Herman is a writer and editor at UK Writings and Research paper service. She is a contributing writer for online magazine and blogs, such as Professional essay writers. As a marketing writer, she blogs about the latest trends in digital and social media advertising.