Women in leadership: how leading a sports team can give you great experience

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Natasha Annis

President of Women’s Basketball, RUSU


Talk us through what you do for your society/sport/activity?

As president, I ensure the overall running of the girls’ basketball team. I make sure that all my committee members and players are well supported to achieve their potential within the club and pass on my knowledge to these players. I ensure that team morale is kept up and that everyone feels welcome and involved in the club.


What is your approach to leadership and teamwork?

My main approach is that every person feels they are a valued member of the team. Over the years I have been president I have made sure coaches give a minimum of 5 minutes court time to every girl who comes to a match, and that every individual gets quality time to improve and everyone gets a say in what we do in our sessions. I believe that when being a leader if you put in 100% then you will get 100% back from the other players, this has proven to be successful in the years I’ve played with the knights! Basketball relies heavily on teamwork and my approach to this is to encourage the girls to be a team on and off the court. Being friends and getting to know one another off-court is just as important as skill level, to have that team coherence everyone getting on is essential!


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What encourages or motivates you when you face a challenge as a leader?

Seeing the results come from the decisions you make and seeing the girls happy with their achievements! Challenges come with the job of being a leader. Working as a team and getting the opinions of players when making decisions is important in making the right decision for a team. Getting a win after making a difficult decision or seeing significant improvement to the club motivates me to make those difficult decisions because seeing success, in the long run, is always worth it!


Is there anyone who inspires you and why?

So many people! Previous coaches have always inspired me, over my time playing basketball I’ve had some really great ones who I’ve learnt so much about leadership and teamwork from and also a fair share of awful ones who I’ve learnt I wouldn’t want to be like and have always strived to do better!

The GB woman’s basketball team are a huge inspiration. For those not familiar with basketball you won’t know how underfunded the sport is in the UK. The GB team work incredibly hard to achieve their best and have always been a hugely positive team who have always been determined to do better. They are role models for any girl playing basketball.

The people who inspire me the most are my own team. I’m now on my third year of presidency at knights basketball. I’ve watched so many people grow as people by being on this team, I’ve seen people pick up a basketball for the first time and have grown into experienced players, I’ve been truly blessed to play with some amazing players who I’ve gained so much knowledge from. Being on this team has always inspired me to do better and every day I am proud to be part of such an amazing team.


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What advice would you give to those who are considering taking on a leadership role?

Absolutely go for it! Being a leader is such a valuable experience and it teaches you a lot about yourself. If you have a passion for something you’ll find things easy and having success when being a leader is one of the most positive experiences you can have. If you think you can do it, have the confidence to say that you can, because you definitely can!


Anything else you’d like to add?

Someone told me before there are 3 C’s to be a leader:

Confidence, commitment, and compassion!

Permanent link to this article: http://blogs.reading.ac.uk/careers/women-in-leadership-how-leading-a-sports-team-can-give-you-great-experience/