Atlanta Beat midfielder Lori Chalupny is one of the quieter players on the field. She’s also the Atlanta Beat’s captain for the second year in a row after captaining the St. Louis Athletica for both 2009 and the first seven games prior to the team folding.
She was named co-captain of the US Women’s National team in 2009. She co-captained the Tar Heels her senior season.
Chalupny is quiet, yes, but she leads the teams she plays on by example. Day in and day out, she helps to set the standard for her team.
So for the quieter players out there looking to make a difference on their teams, check out what Lori Chalupny had to say about being a quieter player on the field and still being an effective leader in this installment of Tips from the Pros.
You’re one of the quietest players on and off the field. How does that impact how you lead?
I think there’s all kinds of leaders, and you have to just be yourself. It’s the most important thing. That kind of leads me to be a leader by example, not so much as a screamer, vocal person but I just kind of try to set the example of how hard I want my teammates to work and (kind of) rub off on them.
It’s hard—you just can’t take a break any day and you know that you’re setting the standard. Everyone leads in their own way and you don’t have to be a captain to lead. It takes a lot of different personalities and a lot of different leaders on a team to be successful.
You’ve captained the National Team, Athletica, North Carolina and now with the Beat. What is the biggest difference between the three in terms of being a leader?
I think the biggest thing is just being able to read your teammates. It was interesting last season with the WPS because it was the first season, and there were a ton of struggles to get everything organized, whereas in college you already have a system and a way that you do things.
So little things like that, there’s different struggles.
What qualities do you think make a good leader?
I don’t think you can say ‘What is a leader?’ and map out the perfect leader. I think there’s all different things. A leader doesn’t always have to be your best player. You just have to be yourself, you have to be a hard worker and get your teammates’ respect.
Not so much wear the armband, because everybody on the field has to be a leader in their own way even if they’re not wearing the armband.
What would you say to the quieter players on a team about leadership?
I don’t think that a leader has to be the most vocal person either. You can’t try to be something you’re not, so just be yourself and work hard.
Lauren Green is a Correspondent for Bleacher Report covering Women’s Professional Soccer and the US Women’s National team.
All quotes were obtained firsthand.
Photo Credit (top): John Dorton | ISI Photos