Follow the leader…but where’s he going?

Today we’re going to tackle the challenge that is, how to be a good leader. Whether it’s in your seminar group, on the field, or when you’re in charge of the Netflix choices. Being a good leader can really take you places.

Before we get all ‘I’ and mighty – to be a good leader, you need a good team. Don’t forget that…

Without a good team behind you, you’re just a person standing around barking orders whilst no-one listens, and that can look pretty silly you know. So what defines a good leader? Courage? Intelligence? Understanding? There are many qualities a strong leader can benefit from. Many people believe you can develop them, while others think you’re born with them…

Cap'n Understanding

Either way, there are brilliant examples of strong leaders wherever you look. Luckily enough we stumbled across one in our very own Men’s CU Basketball captain, Luke Austin. By day he’s a Sport’s Management student working towards his degree, but by night, he’s a three shooting, alley-oop hitting team leader! We stopped in with Luke before a training session to see what he thinks makes a good leader…

I can’t honestly say that I know how to properly lead a team. I was never born to be a leader. I was never the best player on the team. But that doesn’t matter.

Until recently I never knew what it meant to be part of something bigger than yourself, part of something that means your actions on and off the court affect others around you. I have only been president of the basketball society for two weeks but I’ve already learnt more about this team than I had my entire first year when I joined.

The CU Basketball team

. I learned that there is no one true leader. In a perfect world there would be a LeBron James type player (MVP) who would carry the physical and mental load of the team whenever you needed it. Instead, what we have are 24 players who at any time can step up and become the leader we need. That’s what makes being part of this team great. This is down to a number of reasons that start with our coach, Rob Eddon, drilling teamwork and hard work into our head (along with far too many press-ups and suicide runs intertwined), and finishes with the attitude that if you hold yourself responsible for your actions, everyone else will do the same.

The results speak for themselves. Last year both men’s teams were promoted with both the 1st and 2nd teams winning their respective league’s undefeated, along with the 1st team also becoming BUCS champions. So I can honestly say that although I have been asked to write this article, I feel that every member of this team deserves to call themselves the leader of this team. And I know for a fact that the team would all agree with me – this can’t, and won’t, change anytime soon. This is Coventry Basketball.

Powerful stuff! I don’t know about you, but after reading that this phrase springs to mind:

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts

So how can you become a great leader?  Well, being a leader requires various qualities, such as…


Jack Sparrow


Walter White

and above all else…Confidence.


It’s also about understanding where your limitations lie, and how to overcome them. A leader can only be a leader if their team are willing to work as a unit, and at times this means taking a step back and allowing someone else to take centre stage for a moment. By doing so, attributes that you may not possess yourself, or be as well versed in, may shine through another member, allowing you to truly progress as a team.


Remember…they’re just as vital as you are.