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Good sport coaches provide leadership to individuals and their teams. However, sport coaches often have numerous responsibilities beyond that and beyond simply just making out a line-up and managing games. This is especially true at the higher levels of sport, especially at the high school level. Often these coaches have to coordinate travel plans, maintain fields, and deal with the media, parents, and leagues – just to name a few of the extra responsibilities. The point is that much of their time can be consumed by other activities beyond just coaching. This is one reason why having a player team captain is so important. A good team captain will provide leadership that can make a big impact for the team.
Also, having a team captain who recognizes the importance of leadership can motivate other players in ways that coaches may not be able to. Peer influence is often more valuable to youth athletes than the influence of a coach, even well respected coaches.
With this in mind, following is a list of qualities for being a team captain and how a captain provides leadership in sports.
1. Have the respect of all, players and coaches alike, with the main characteristic of a captain being honesty.
2. Lead by example on the field – captains show consistent hustle before, during and after games.
3. Display an enthusiasm for the sport beyond that of the average player.
4. Are not necessarily the most vocal of players, but they must not be afraid to speak up when players or teams have issues that can disrupt team cohesiveness.
5. Lead by example off the playing field as well – they are always be on time and follow team rules set forth by the coach.
6. Must be willing to confront players who fail to hustle, fail to follow rules or display a disruptive attitude.
7. Show respect to all players on the team, including non-starters.
8. Should be good solid players who are in little danger of ever losing their starting job. It can be a very difficult situation if the captain is not a solid player and the coach has to bench the captain for poor play.
9. Know when to take issues to the coaching staff and when to keep things among players.
10. Keep an even keel, never getting too high or to low and never getting too angry when things do not go his way.
The importance of leadership in sports, provided by a fellow player, can be invaluable for team success but only if the right person is chosen to be the team captain. It is important that coaches put a good amount of thought into which players would make good team captains. Not all players are made out to be team captains or necessarily want to be the team captain. Picking the wrong player to be team captain can lead to a very disruptive issue down the line for teams.
Author: Waqas Jawed
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