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How To Help ALL Your Athletes Become Leaders

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Marcia McDermott (@SoccerChicago) is a PCA National Advisory Board Member and Head Women's Soccer Coach at Army West Point. McDermott has nearly 25 years of collegiate, professional and national coaching experience under her belt, and served as an assistant coach for the U.S. Women's National Team in 2011. As a student-athlete, McDermott led the University of North Carolina to three national titles in 1983, '84 and '86, serving as co-captain in 1986 during an All-American season.

In this video, McDermott shares how captains are picked at West Point and gives strategies for developing leadership skills and creating a culture of leadership for all athletes regardless of captaincy. In McDermott's experience, the team always picks the captains, not the coach. The reason she has faith in that process is because she provides leadership development for all her athletes along the way.

She uses a leadership council each season, where each class (Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior) is represented and can engage in discussion and conversation around leadership throughout their entire college experience. That way, when the team is ready to select captains, a culture of leadership is already in place and the team has a good enough understanding of leadership to select the best captains. Not only have captains learn leadership skills that will help them once their athletic careers are over, but all players on the team have learned these skills.