11:34 27 March 2014 Dallas North American Bridge Championships by GS Jade Barrett, CsbNews correspondent
“Leadership is diving for a loose ball, getting the crowd involved, getting other players involved. It’s being able to take it as well as dish it out. That’s the only way you’re going to get respect from the players” – Larry Bird
Every Great American Bridge Tour Team Leader is ready to suit up and enter the fray. They are strong competitors, used to the tough environment of the tournament world, accustomed to leading by example.
They have lived the extremes of success and failure, and have used the lessons provided by those experiences well. These well prepared athletes are capable of rallying the troops, instilling faith and confidence during the most challenging circumstances, against the stiffest opponents.
Their greatest attribute is to never surrender. They may withdraw when to continue would serve no constructive purpose, but it is not an indicator of their lack of heart – they will play every card with the same effort and fervor as the first.
They also recognize that the passion of players is not always expressed in the same way. Some need time alone, some need camaraderie, others watch television, exercise or go out to a good meal. The chemistry is often a delicate mix, and the Team Leader must understand his charges in order to maintain the balance of the group.
To lead by example, to exhibit faith and confidence, to reassure – and to always be prepared for the next session.