BYU's Young Team and Leadership

Brett RichinsSenior Analyst IJuly 9, 2010

LAS VEGAS - DECEMBER 22:  Quarterback Max Hall #15 of the Brigham Young University Cougars holds the most valuable player trophy as he celebrates the team's 44-20 victory over the Oregon State Beavers in the MAACO Las Vegas Bowl at Sam Boyd Stadium December 22, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

With young teams, it is extremely difficult to foster the right type of leadership. Even on football teams, there is a power struggle that occurs. Most of the time it isn’t prominent, because on football teams, the most productive players are normally looked to as the leaders.

Yet with so many offensive and defensive positions up for grabs and little on field productivity to guide players and coaches decisions, what leaders will emerge?

Hopefully throughout the summer, players have learned to recognize those that possess the intuitive leadership qualities necessary to produce cohesive efforts.

Things that players should be looking for are an individual's ability to be positive and enthusiastic about the overarching goals of the BYU program. Using these ideas, leadership becomes more than individual performance, it’s integrating your performance with the ultimate goals in order to better yourself and everyone around you. It is finding opportunities to unite team members through adversity by ensuring your efforts are always aligned with standards set by the program’s goals.

As an analogy, I’ll twist something Coach Hill told us in meetings. Finding leaders pivots around observation and perception.

“Players make deposits during the offseason and practice. Each deposit is different in quality and size. The more deposits you make during summer training and camp, the more you’ll have when it’s time to make withdrawals between the white lines on Saturday.”

Hopefully, players are making significant contributions to their accounts so as the season progresses, their checks don’t bounce. The way this analogy should be expounded is that players shouldn’t just look for individuals making large deposits, but they should look for players inspiring others to make more significant deposits in order to obtain a better reward.

Luckily, BYU has been very successful over the past years. This has given young players the opportunity to observe how significant deposits need to be in order to win 10 or 11 games. The difficult part is finding the right mix of leadership within the team that can extract the deposits necessary to win every game.