Authentic Leadership – Marcus Mariota


Friday night when I was watching Pac 12 Championship Game between University of Oregon and University of Arizona the commentators were bloviating on and on about the only thing they and NFL scouts had questions about Marcus Mariota was his leadership ability. Why did they question his leadership? Because they felt he was not ”vocal” enough. What does that mean? He does not scream and holler and run around like a madman. He just leads!

I would like to share with you what I have seen about Marcus Mariota and his leadership. I have been privileged to attend several Oregon practices, weight workouts and speed sessions and also to be on the sideline of one game over the past three years and what I have seen and experienced is a great leader – an authentic leader. He is solid as rock, a stable force, he is a cool calm and collected presence that his teammates look to. He does not scream and holler instead he leads by example, by a pat on the back and an encouraging word. In practice and training there is no bluster or trash talking just “perfect effort” and focus on making himself and teammates better. In fact last off-season he set up his schedule up to do some of his lifting workouts with the offensive line. How many Quarterbacks would do that?

For some reason the classic image of a leader is a screamer, a madman who rants and raves. I have seen too many of these so-called leaders in my 44 years of coaching. They are not leaders; they are individuals who want to call attention to themselves instead of the team. You will notice when the chips are down they tend to blow-up or disappear.  This is why Marcus Mariota epitomizes authentic leadership. He is all about making his team better not calling attention to himself; he knows his arms and legs will do the talking. Watch this young man he will go far in football and even farther if life because of leadership abilities.

Vern Gambetta

Vern Gambetta

Director at Gambetta Sports Training Systems
Vern is the Director of Gambetta Sports Training Systems. He has been the a conditioning coach for several MLS teams as well as the conditioning consultant to the US Men's World Cup Soccer team. Vern is the former Director of Conditioning for the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets. He has lectured and conducted clinics in Canada, Japan, Australia and Europe and has authored six books and over one hundred articles related to coaching and sport performance in a variety of sports. He has a BA in teaching with a coaching minor and an MA in Education with an emphasis in physical education from Stanford University.
Vern Gambetta


Athletic Development Coach & Consultant. Founder of GAIN Network. Proud dad. Love to read everything.
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Vern Gambetta

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