College admissions want to know what you do after class, whether it is getting involved with a club, playing sports or even a part time job. Keep in mind though that the top schools don't necessarily care so much about what you're involved in, but how involved you are in it. This means that they are interested to know if you are taking on leadership roles/positions in your extracurricular activities.
Quality trumps quantity when it comes to extra curricular activities. So if you're not in a leadership position yet, take these tips into consideration.
1. Volunteer Positions
If your extracurricular activity is volunteering, then time is your biggest leverage in getting to a leadership position. Put in more volunteer hours per shift and help out the other volunteers. When you help those who volunteer with you, they will start to see you as someone who is capable of taking on responsibilities. When opportunities arise, ask the coordinator/director if you can take on a leadership position (do so after you've proven capability).
2. JV or Varsity Sports Teams
If you're involved in a competitive sports team, it's harder to get into a leadership position because the only titled position is captain; however, that does not mean you can't get there.
First and foremost, you don't have to be the best player on the team, but the one that hustles the most. You should always get to practice early and stay late to help the coach. Even outside of team practice, you should practice on your own to keep improving your skills.
Secondly, during team practices, be a cheerleader to your other teammates. Encourage them to do their best and cheer them on even when they're having off days.
Lastly, lead by example. If someone is doing something wrong, don't just tell them, show them (if you can do it properly). Maybe they just needed an extra demonstration of a practice drill.
3. After-School Club
If you're involved in an after-school club, you need to do more than just "be in a club." Anyone can say that they're in the Math Club or Art Club. In order to get a leadership position however, you need to do more and bring new ideas and activities for the club. For instance, organize a pizza party for your next meeting or come up with a new fundraiser idea.
4. Student Government
There's nothing more challenging than getting your peers to vote for you to represent them for student government, but it's doable. All you need is the persistence and charm to win over your peers.
The best way to gets votes is to get to know as many people as possible. Get out of your comfort zone to talk to as many people as possible. The fastest and the most efficient way to do this is to eat lunch with a different group of people everyday. This may be out of your comfort zone, but it is one of the best ways for people to get to know who you are.