Learning to lead through sports coaching

Leadership coaching

“The battle of Waterloo was won on the playing-fields of Eton”


I reckon that many of the qualities you learn through playing sport are essentially leadership skills. This means that, therefore, by developing those attributes in children through sport we are helping them develop mental strength and positive mental health today and as future leaders for tomorrow.

Consider some of the skills anyone playing football or cricket must execute:

  • Decision-making – using both fast and slow thinking depending on the situation
  • Resilience
  • Communicating with others
  • Giving discretionary effort to meet a team goal
  • Objective setting
  • Finding solutions to short- and long-term problems
  • Staying calm under pressure
  • Observation
  • Information analysis
  • Taking responsibility for their actions and those of others
A children's football team celebrate in a huddle

I also believe that all these skills can be learnt and improved when viewed through a sporting lens. Children will naturally find it more engaging to discuss a topic like objectives in the context of a game they enjoy playing rather than in an academic subject. I think that we, as parents, coaches and role models, should encourage and build on this natural engagement.

When I’m coaching sport I try to highlight these leadership skills where appropriate, drawing out the mental and social attributes the children naturally develop while playing.

Interested in finding out more? Read about our approach to football coaching and cricket coaching.