GC coaches tell what makes an ideal leader
From the field to the court to the track, a leader is someone who embodies the ability to always put 100 percent into their team.
Head women’s volleyball coach Gretchen Krumdieck said that in order to find a leader, you need to watch how the players interact with each other.
“You need to see who is going to step up and take charge, even in little things,” Krumdieck said. “A leader is someone who is driven, someone that has goals, somebody that really wants everyone to exceed and not just themselves.”
This volleyball season, Krumdieck said there were three players who really stepped up: senior Chandler Ewaldsen and juniors Kayla Brockway and Taylor Svehla.
“They all are very passionate about our sport and about our team,” Krumdieck said. “They all lead in their own way. Chandler is like our team mom, and she is a great listener. Kayla is quieter and reserved but direct [and] to the point. Taylor is more aggressive and very passionate. She wears her heart on her sleeve.”
Krumdieck said that the difference in the girls’ leadership styles work well together and are very effective. The team responds very well.
Head women’s tennis coach Steve Barsby said that work ethic and confidence best embodies a leader on his team.
“We don’t name a team captain,” Barsby said. “You grow into the leadership role because I do not think everyone is meant to be a captain. I look to the person who is working extremely hard, is very committed and is very team oriented as a person and a leader.”
This spring season, Barsby said that senior Jena Kelly has really stepped up as a leader.
“She works hard, she’s committed, she’s very positive with the team, never in a bad mood and is very driven,” Barsby said.
Head women’s soccer coach Hope Clark has found that there are tangible and intangible qualities of being a leader.
“There are a lot of different facets involved,” Clark said. “Whether it’s from their commitment level, so doing what it takes day in and day out to perform on and off the field. Someone who is very strong academically, so they have good time management skills and [are] setting a good example from a role model perspective.
Clark said that a role model should give 100 percent, has no off days and trains hard during the off season.
“From the intangible aspect, I think there’s an understanding from a leader of the bigger picture,” Clark said. “Supporting the mission and the values of the program and get those to follow.”
Like the women’s tennis program, the women’s soccer team also does not name team captains. The team appoints a leadership group and designates specific roles using each girl’s greatest strength.
“Ashley Graham is the on-field leader,” Clark said. “She is the one who sets the tempo and is the thermostat for the team come game day. Then we’ve got our positive leaders, so someone like Amanda Bartholomew. . . Finally, we have our communicator, Savannah Devalle, so she is the median between me and the team. And we have Anya Mancinelli who handles all of our organization. So, any time we need schedules of group functions, I go to her.”
Whether its appointing a captain or using each teammate’s individual strengths to lead the team, coaches at GC continue to find the best leadership style for their teams and promote a positive playing environment.
“We preach that this is your team,” Clark said. “This is my program.”