Although some coaches believe in avoiding captains altogether, it is unquestionable how many positive outcomes can come from allowing players to take on leadership roles, such as in the form of a captaincy. Giving a player or two an armband can be great for developing confidence, leadership, positivity and teamwork within the entire team; not just the captain(s). This article will explore how players can be good sports captains, and how they can establish themselves within their teams to make the coach take notice of their leadership qualities.
1. POSITIVITY & BELIEF
First and foremost, a captain needs to be positive and have an optimistic mindset. They should have belief in themselves and their ability, and believe in all of their teammates as well. When times are tough, captains are often responsible for motivating their teams to perform better and help motivate those that are low in confidence. A coach is responsible for this too, but ultimately they are not able to step onto the field. Captains are, and so they have a crucial role in keeping the environment a positive one. Doing things like discouraging trash talk between teammates or against opposition, and praising their teammates for doing a good job are two small things that players can do to help keep the environment positive.
2. teamwork & motivation
A good sports captain is never afraid to help all members of their team to succeed. Whether it be through 1on1 chats with other players, or helping those that are struggling to fit in. Captains make sure all of the players on the team feel like they belong, and like the other players trust and respect them. When a player gets left out of a group or doesn’t have a partner, they will automatically feel discouraged. It’s up to the captain sometimes to pull a player in to be their partner or to invite them to join their group. If any individuals on the team are selfish and not in it for the team, it may be up to the captain to have a chat and remind their teammate of the fact that it’s a team sport and that everyone needs to work together if they are to succeed.
3. second in command coach
A good sports captain will often look to help with whatever the coach needs. The coach simply cannot devote their time to everything and everyone, especially if they are the only coach for the team. Captains could help by cleaning up or setting up activities, taking care of loose balls, leading warm-ups, leading team-talks, getting players organized, making sure other players are listening, helping carry equipment, etc. The list is endless. But the captain should not wait for the coach to tell them what to do. A good sports captain will take initiative and either ask the coach what can be done, or even do things without asking what the coach needs, such as getting their teammates into a rondo or dynamic movements upon arrival.
4. lead by example
A good sports captain leads by example. Not just with their teamwork, attitude and positivity, but also what they do out on the field with and without the ball. A good sports captain is constantly reflecting on how to improve their game, so that they can lead by example on the field. The captain should pay extra close attention to the coaching points given each and every session, so that they can reiterate them out on the field and have the know-how of what to do in various situations themselves. The best captains are those that every single player can look up to as a role model for both behaviour and performance. Captains should therefore be eager to arrive early or on time, and always try and put things in perspective. Positivity is important, and the captain needs to lead right from the front by example with that positive attitude and belief.
So there it is! 4 ways to be a good sports captain! If you are interested in reading more about how to be a great captain and leader for your team, see our article The Qualities of a Good Sports Captain. Also be sure to check out more from our Player Education section, including quizzes and challenges like the Leadership, Teamwork & Positivity Player Development Card.
Thanks for reading and see you soon!
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