Derek Jeter by Colin McGovern

By in Leadership, Sports Leaders

Jeter’s Quotes:

“I love when people doubt me. It makes me work harder to prove them wrong.”

“I’m not perfect, no one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. I think you try to learn from those mistakes.”

“Your image isn’t your character. Character is what you are as a person.”







“There may be people who have more talent than you, but there is no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do- and I believe that.” It was this type of attitude that defined one of the greatest leaders in sports history, Derek Jeter. Derek Sanderson Jeter was born on June 26, 1974 in Pequannock, New Jersey. Ironically for Derek, he had no idea what he was about to accomplish just thirty miles down the road in Yankee Stadium. Derek Jeter was the son of Dorothy, an accountant, and Charles, a substance abuse counselor. Derek moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan when he was the age of 4 so that his father could pursue a PH.D. in psychology. After being drafted by the New York Yankees out of high school in 1992, Derek Jeter was anointed Captain in 2003 and would retain that title until he retired this year. Derek Jeter set a precedent for what it means to be a leader not only on a professional sports team, but in society as a whole. Derek Jeter inspired an entire nation to lead by his example on and off the field.




Three Major Accomplishments:

The Captain: Derek Jeter was appointed captain of the New York Yankees in 2003 because of his ability to exhibit excellent play, class, leadership, and winning. He was the 11th player named captain in franchise history and helped the Yankees win 5 World Series Championships. Derek Jeter is referred to as “The Captain” because of the way he lead by example and showed all captains of any sport how to lead your team the right way. Derek knew how to get the most out of his players, and everyone in the locker room looked up to him as their leader on and off the field.


Turn 2 Foundation: The major focus of this foundation is to create and support signature programs and activities that motivate young people to turn away from drugs and alcohol and “TURN 2” healthy lifestyles. Through these ventures, the Foundation strives to create outlets that promote and reward academic excellence, leadership development and positive behavior. Derek Jeter’s goal of this foundation is to see the children of these programs grow safely and successfully into adulthood and become the leaders of tomorrow. Derek is looked at as one of the greatest leaders in sports history, and he is trying to pass this on to younger generations so they can develop themselves, just like Derek had.


Overcoming Biracial Barriers: One of Derek Jeter’s major accomplishments in his life is overcoming the prejudice against biracial Americans, and more specifically biracial athletes. Derek was picked on as a kid growing up because his father is African American, and his mother is white. Derek struggled to find his own identity, but quickly found it once he became enthralled in sports. Derek showed courage and the ability of self- reflection in order to form his own image, while blocking out any negative opinions about himself. Derek felt comfort in developing as a leader for his team which led to less and less bickering against him throughout his childhood.


jeter 2 


“I’m not perfect, no one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. I think you try to learn from those mistakes.”

Derek Jeter is one of the most talented baseball players this planet has ever seen. He is also regarded as one of, if not the greatest leader in sports history. However, Derek Jeter showed his own critical reflection with this quote because he is explaining how it doesn’t matter who you are, everyone can improve themselves. Derek looks at his strengths and weaknesses as a baseball player and as a leader in order to continue the things he does well to motivate his teammates, and improve his weak points in order to become the complete leader he strives to be. 


Critique of Derek Jeter

The biggest critique of Derek Jeter is that he played in the league too long past his prime. Critics say that Derek was a mediocre player at best toward the end of his career. However, what kept Derek around was his leadership within the Yankees organization. The Yankees knew how important Derek was to their team as their captain and they were not ready to lose that. Derek brought a spirit to that locker room that will never be matched again. Even though his numbers and stats decreased and worsened toward the end of his career, Jeter’s leadership abilities grew more and more each year. Everyone knew who the leader of the New York Yankees were and that didn’t just happen by chance, Derek made that happen with his presence in the locker room.





About the Author:


Colin McGovern was born in Teaneck, New Jersey in 1995. Colin has two brothers (Brendan 23, Griffin 14), and one sister (Erin, 21). He is the son of Jack and Ann McGovern. They reside in Oradell, New Jersey. Colin attended Bergen Catholic High School where he played Football, and Basketball. He was also a member of their National Honors Society. Colin is now a student athlete at Wagner College in Staten Island, NY where he is a member of the football team. He is a freshman in his first semester there and he plans on studying Business.  

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