1. Disciplined

This one goes without saying, because to be the best you have to work hard and smart – setting an example for those around you. The best sporting leaders are the hardest workers in the room, driven by a hunger that is satisfied by action, progress and success. This level of discipline fuels training, gym work and nutrition and is the driving force behind some of history’s most respected athletes.

Strong Man reaching for Bar Bell at Gym

2. Strong

This is about mental strength, toughness and resilience, because in the modern era of sport, athletes have a lot of external pressure to handle. Thanks to international television coverage, a 24-7 news cycle and the rise of social media, the criticism and negativity that sportspeople can be exposed to has heightened dramatically.

With this in mind, it’s the best that silence their critics through on-field performances, but the greatest bear the weight of naysayers for their entire team – acting as a pillar of strength to everyone around them.

3. Consistent

With most things in life consistency is key, and sports leadership is no different. This is about the quality of performance, attitude and standards amidst the trials and tribulations that a sporting career offers.

One of the greatest strengths of Rugby League icon, Jonathan Thurston, is the difference between his best and worst performances – sometimes it’s hard to tell, thanks to the standards he holds himself to. The other telling factor of great leadership is the ability to bounce back from a perceived poor performance, another testimony to the skill and character of a true sporting leader.

Courage definition & text highlighted

4. Courageous and confident

We’ve combined these two because one cannot be put into practice without the other. Sporting leaders need the confidence to command respect from their peers and this is built off the back of trust in their own ability and performance.

Whether it’s David Warner tackling the world’s most ferocious fast bowling attack or Michael Hooper crashing into a formidable All Black defensive line – these leaders need to express their confidence through performance, laying the platform for their team.

While confidence is important, the greatest sporting leaders have courage in their conviction, going with their ‘gut’ and making a bold move, all in the pursuit of victory.

5. Humble

Last but certainly not least, this is the one that separates the good from the great – a defining quality of many of history’s more memorable sporting leaders. Some of our most intelligent and exceptional athletes did not have the ability to harness this trait and use it to their advantage. Driven by the respect of their craft, their opposition and the wider community, humble leaders show character in the face of defeat.

Ultimately, they transcend sporting boundaries and become role models for the young and old, reflecting and promoting many of the personal attributes we value in our everyday lives, as we watch them play out in the ever-glamorous and exciting sporting arena.

Let’s thank our local sports leaders
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