5 Impactful Leadership Styles For Swim Teams
The best swim teams are not just defined by performance in the pool, but by team cohesiveness. To optimize both aspects of a swim team, there must be members who are willing to step up and make a difference in not only their own swim journeys but the journeys of their teammates. While the coach does this day in and day out, there are plenty of situations where the coach isn’t there to guide or lift up swimmers. This is where leadership skills come in. No matter what personality a swimmer has or what role they may have with the team, anyone can find a way to help support their teammates to make swimming as rewarding as possible. Some of them might surprise you!
Among the most important features of a successful swim team is the establishment of long-term, attainable goals that everyone on the team buys into. A swimmer with a visionary leadership style is able to identify and make necessary changes as needed in order to optimize team performance and morale. In addition, they must be able to convince their teammates that these changes will help to achieve the team goals. Being able to make teammates believe in the vision and stick with that vision throughout the season goes a long way for any squad.
Another impactful leader is someone who can recognize their teammates’ strengths, weaknesses, and thought processes to help them become better. Having a coaching leadership style is effective with assisting teammates in setting goals that will not only help them individually but the team as a collective whole. In addition, people with a coaching leadership style provide valuable feedback to their teammates and challenge them to be their best.
Leadership By Example
Among the best types of swimmers to have on your team are those unsung heroes who do things the right way without any fanfare. Being willing to work to your full potential both in and out of the pool, taking care of yourself while always looking out for teammates, are all traits of an effective leader. These teammates may not be the most vocal members of the team, and they may not be what comes to mind when one thinks about a typical leader. Though they may not be flashy, a swimmer who leads by example is valuable to everybody on the team. Less experienced members of the team can see the work ethic in action and strive to match that level of performance. This type of leader can also help immensely with team culture because of the positive impression they leave on their teammates.
Servant leaders are swimmers who have a mindset that prioritizes fellow team members and their well-being over their own. This type of leader believes that optimal team harmony goes a long way and will lead to more effective performances. This type of leader is very good at building team morale and helping teammates to stay focused despite frequent distractions. These leaders value development of a positive team culture above all else.
This leadership style prioritizes optimal results in the pool over all other aspects of the team. These leaders tend to be primarily focused on performance, putting their all into the races. They often set high standards and hold their teammates accountable for hitting their goals. While the pacesetting leadership style isn’t always ideal in terms of providing mentorship or feedback to teammates, it can be highly motivational and can provide energy to teammates who could use some pumping up.
All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.