The Top 10 Most Popular Lead ‘Em Up Exercises

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The Top 10 Most Popular Lead ‘Em Up Exercises

Lead ‘Em Up is proud of the content and curriculum we’ve built helping coaches develop the leaders needed to win. Each exercise is tested, tweaked, and tested again with teams prior to entering our digital vault.

We pride ourselves on our unique curriculum which reaches athletes where they’re at, teaches them how they learn, and is filled with themes which are memorable and portable.

While it’s hard to narrow down which exercises are the best, we compiled a list of the 10 most popular Lead ‘Em Up exercises

The Green Team

In sports players understand the need for the team to be playing their best when it matters most. Oftentimes players don’t understand the need for the team to come together when it matters most. Teams coming together and leaders stepping up has always been an elusive goal for players to grasp; what does it look like?  What exactly is their role in the process?

There’s no wins or losses directly tied to it so players struggle understanding what’s needed. The Green Team provides a frame of reference, offering measurable’s and gives players direction to help bring the team together when it matters most. In order for our team to reach it’s full potential to be “money” (special) we need each of us operating in the green.

“After being introduced to the Green Team, I spent the next 45-minutes talking with my captains about it.  They began going through the roster identifying who they thought was in green, gray and red.  It created incredible conversation and inspired them to begin working to move everyone up a level.” ~Head Varsity Football Coach 

Sugar and Salt

Leaders need to prepare themselves for tough conversations. That’s what leaders do. Leaders care too much about those around them, not to have those conversations when the situation requires it. Those conversations aren’t easy, not even for the strongest of leaders. It requires practice. Players need reps. It’s important to start training for the trial your not yet it.

In order to have effective conversations, players need to learn to balance love (sugar) & truth (salt).

Through this exercise your players will get their reps to cook up a recipe combining the perfect amounts of sugar and salt.

“As a coach, this was one of my favorite exercises.  I loved watching my players try to navigate these difficult conversations that even after 15 years of coaching, I sometimes struggle having.”

~Veteran Maryland High School Varsity Boys Basketball Coach 

The Six

Taking an invested interest in other people and helping them become the best version of themselves is at the core of leadership.  As your players develop a leadership mindset, thinking of their teammates growth needs to become front and center.

The SIX Program is an intentional exercise giving your players the reps to help a specific teammate grow like never before.Through the journey of helping a specific teammate grow, your players will build the confidence and understanding of what it takes to connect with a teammate, serve a teammate, and help build-up a teammate.

“The SIX program was my favorite part of Lead ‘Em Up and something I looked forward during both my two years on Varsity.”

~Maryland High School Varsity Boys Basketball Senior Captain 

Going For The Gold

A team coming together is built upon the relationships within your team growing.  In order for them to grow, players need to build connections with one another.  Unfortunately, building deep connections with one another isn’t a strong skill set many athletes possess. Conversation with the goal of connecting is a lost art and our relationships are the ones suffering. If we can’t build connections; how are we going to grow closer?

The Going for the Gold exercise will teach your players how to have deeper, meaningful conversations, leading to greater connections.

“The Going for the Gold gave me a plan and strategy to try and build deeper connections in conversation. I find myself ‘going for the gold’ when I talk to people now.  It’s pretty fun.”

~A Lead ‘Em Up Training Camp Graduate, High School Senior 

9 – Clap

Have you ever thought about how much clapping takes place in sports? In almost every aspect of sports there’s clapping. Your performance in how you “clap” has the ability to change your entire program. Clapping has the ability to raise energy levels, build enthusiasm, show a greater appreciation to others and increase your level of engagement. The foundational “9-clap” exercise will raise the level of your entire team. After experiencing the 9-clap, your team will never look at this “small,” yet powerful component of your team ever the same.

“The 9-clap has become a staple in our program. It’s a new standard we all honor and embrace.  Nothing less than a 9-clap”

~Maryland Head Varsity High School Football Coach 

Beat The Coach

As our players continue growing as leaders it’s essential they take control of leadership opportunities when they are presented. Our practices present numerous leadership opportunities for players; unfortunately those opportunities are often scooped up by coaches, instead of players. What if our players when presented with leadership opportunities not only stepped up but competed with each other to be the first to step-up.

What if those opportunities were led by the players and the coaches could simply observe and watch; our players and team would grow as a result. In the Beat The Coach exercises our players will begin establishing a new standard on how to handle the leadership opportunities they face each day in practice.

“The Beat The Coach exercise is the exact exercise I had been hoping to discover. I’ve been wanting my players to take more ownership and initiative in leading each other in practice and the Beat The Coach has helped produce that result”

~Pennsylvania Varsity Girls Basketball Coach 

The Toaster

Have you ever wondered what level of “being ready” is truly required to be successful. Before every game if you asked your players, “are you ready?” you’ll get a “yes” every time. Unfortunately, it may not always be true. Oftentimes, players think they’re ready, but are they ready enough?

Leaders pride themselves on being prepared, being engaged and being ready at the level required to be successful.

During the Toaster exercise your players will be challenged to evaluate their level of readiness, stay engaged and develop the skill of quick-thinking.

“As we were preparing for our North Carolina State Basketball Championship we did the Toaster exercise with our guys the week leading up to the game, as well as the morning of our game. It got the kids locked-in and made they were fully-ready for the game.”

~State Champion Varsity High School Boys Basketball Coach 

Me, We, You 

It’s important we train our players to see the good in themselves, in others and in the group.  This is a skill set you’d hope would come natural to people, but unfortunately that’s not always the case.  Most people are often bent on seeing the ‘’glass half empty” and finding what’s wrong rather than what’s right.

As a leader, it’s important we identify the positive and can speak on those.  It builds optimism, confidence, enthusiasm and provides encouragement.

As a leader it’s also important you feel comfortable standing in front of your peers and addressing them. This isn’t needed all the time but at times it’s all that’s needed.  Getting practice now is better than not being comfortable doing it later when the team may need it most.

This exercise will get your players into the habit of finding the good in themselves, others and the team. It’ll also allow them the opportunity to lower their guard and build up their comfort zone in front of their team. Both important components in growth as a leader.

“I never felt comfortable in the past standing in front of the group but having the Me-We-You be a regular thing for our team, I got to the point where talking in front of the team was no big deal” ~JV Girls Field Hockey player 

Hype Battle

There’s something special that happens when we show the ability to celebrate someone else; the relationship grows, the recipient has his or her confidence boosted and a healthy culture gets cultivated.  All three components are components leaders work to help create.

It’s important we begin to train our athletes and get them into the habit of celebrating others. They need to develop the “eye of celebrations” that can see and quickly identify reasons to celebrate others.

Through this exercise, it’ll help produce a culture of celebration in a fun and unique way with your players. Allow this to initiate the momentum of being a team filled with individuals who celebrate each other.

“I never was a person who celebrated others, especially not publicly.  It wasn’t because I was afraid to, I just didn’t think about it. Going through the Hype Battle and seeing others celebrate each other, it got me thinking how could I celebrate my teammates better.”

Junior Girls Varsity Basketball Player

5 & 2

“Why are we spending time working on our handshakes, I know how to shake someone’s hands,” is something your players may be thinking and something we’ve heard many times in Lead ‘Em Up.

It’s always in this moment we’re able to share powerful reminders as to why something as “small” as a handshake deserves our attention.

If you don’t care about the small details of your life, the chances you’ll be a player who pays attention to the small details of the game or as an athlete, is slim.

Whether on a job interview, talking to a college scout or interviewing with a professional team; if the position is between you and another person and all else is equal (grades, resume, measurements), they will always go back to the person that gave them more confidence. That confidence is built with a professional greeting; a handshake with strong eye contact.

Does it matter? It could be the one thing that matters most.

“After going through the 5&2 exercise, every time I shake someone’s hand, I find myself saying to myself “5&2,” it’s going to be with me forever”

~High School 4-Star Varsity basketball player

Our New Exercise

We think our new Lifeguard concept will be in the top-10 in the future, it’s that good!

Lifeguards are willing to jump in the water to save others from drowning but ideally, lifeguards prevent others from ever getting to the point of drowning in the first place.

In this exercise your players will learn the role of a lifeguard, will begin embracing the responsibilities of a lifeguard, adopt a new perspective in holding others accountable and develop a new passion for holding the standards of the team.

“Ever since being introduced to the Lifeguard concept I’ve had a completely different perspective on my role as a leader. I understand the need to be proactive and “jumping in” to help my teammates performance stay high. It’s been a huge game-changer for me.”

Varsity Girls Basketball Player – Maryland

Have fun and #LeadEmUp

Have your Players ever come out flat?


Have your players start every game with the right balance of energy and focus!

Get your FREE exercise and get started with Lead ‘Em Up right NOW!

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Have your Players Ever Come Out Flat?

Have your Players start every game off with the right balance of energy and focus!

Get your FREE exercise and get started with Lead ‘Em Up right NOW!