Developing the ability to lead without an official title will serve you well in Ultimate and in life. While titles like Captain are great for defining responsibility in terms of team strategy, there are many essential team duties that fall outside of this capacity. Each one is a perfect opportunity to step up to the line and help out your team.
Never be afraid that you'll be “stepping on toes” by asking to help out. More often than not you’ll be met with enthusiasm if not downright relief. Just make sure to communicate well with your leadership to define the task, and if you’re a leader communicate your willingness to use your fellow players as a resource. So without further ado, here are 10 tips on how to contribute to the team even if you’re not an official leader.
1. Volunteer for the little things
Staffing the booth at the college club fair, making flyers for the upcoming fundraiser, writing the alumni update email...There are a million little tasks that come with organizing a group of people. Volunteering for even one of them is a great way to lead.
2. Use your unique abilities
Have any special skills? Leverage them for the greater good. Are you great at pumping people up, or have a knack for a certain on-field play? Organize a skills clinic, lead a practice pod, or invite teammates out for a social event. Can’t get enough social media in your life? Lead the twitter charge for your team. Chances are your unique skills can really help your team out, so don’t be afraid to lend a hand.
3. Manage the money
Does your team have a treasurer? Are you good with money, or willing to learn? Take on responsibility for team cash flow. This could look like working with the captains to set and achieve fundraising goals, collecting player money for tournaments or really anything related to team capital.
4. Make the workouts
A solid season of team workouts is an invaluable addition to your team’s practice schedule. This is a great way to help new teammates learn their way around the weight room or track and to keep the team accountable for long-term training. Work with your captains and coaches to develop training goals such as strength, speed or overall fitness and then plan from there. Another option is to find a nearby strength and conditioning gym and arrange pod training times with a group discount.
5. Lead the mental game
Help your team overcome high-pressure situations by taking charge of mental preparation. Find a sports psychologist in your area and bring them in for a team visit. Or, research and develop some team strategies yourself. Check out our in-depth article on 5 Winning Mental Strategies for more info.
6. Organize the rides
Getting to and from tournaments is a major part of every team’s Ultimate season. Being the one to arrange rides means making sure no players are left behind both to and from each event. It’s an important, yet underappreciated and essential job.
7. Stock the coolers
Step up your team’s food game by volunteering for this often overlooked task. Take a leaf out of any club team’s book and bring a couple of coolers stocked with fruit, bars and deli meats to your games. Players can still bring their own snacks of course, but having an on-point team food game is a secret weapon for consistent performance.
8. Bring people together
Ultimate friends! So much of on-field success depends on team chemistry. An easy way to build this to it make it your mission to learn about and connect with your teammates. Host a gathering, organize an outing, or even just make sure to grab a few teammates on your way to the dining hall. These simple connections will build camaraderie in an authentic way throughout the season.
9. Organize the swagWhile ordering team swag is actually quite easy, taking on this process will undoubtedly earn you your team’s undying gratitude. If you’re worried about designing the logo or getting the colors wrong, fear not. Unlimited, free art assistance is at your disposal. And gone are the days of tracking teammate’s individual orders. Just load up your order with all the steezy ultimate gear you want, then send a custom link to your teammates. With one click they can add their sizing and payment info.
10. Show up
This is both the most simple and the most important way you can contribute to your team. Show up to practice. Show up to meetings. Show up to games. Listen, be respectful and contribute your knowledge, your energy and your attention. Oh yeah, and don’t forget to have fun!
Over to YoU!
What are some of the ways you show up for your team? Are there certain tasks that are often overlooked but always appreciated? Let us know in the comments below!