How to be a good captain for any team in any situation

Team first.

Understand that team excellence and success is the ultimate goal every season, and show your understanding through your actions and words. Think about the team in terms of “we”, not “I”, and it will show when communicating with your coach and teammates.

Take responsibility.

Know that being a captain means you carry a heavier burden. When something goes wrong, captains vocally and voluntarily accept a share of the blame.

Commit 100%.

Every team has a baseline commitment expectation for mandatory team events, and captains should be committed 100%. Often, captains are selected because they have demonstrated a commitment level beyond 100% in the past.

Publicly support the coach’s decisions.

Captains think of themselves as mediators who connect the coach to the team. If a captain disagrees with a coach’s decisions, the captain feels comfortable talking to the coach about it, and if they still disagree, good captains accept it and move on. They recognize the importance of showing unity.

Be positive.

Captains do not complain, and captains do not let others complain without noticing and finding a way to address it. The best captains always have a feel for individual and team morale, and contribute to both positively in an authentic manner.

Be consistent.

Every player has days with low energy and games where they fail to meet their personal expectations, but captains strive to rise above the ebbs and flows of day-to-day life. Captains know if they focus on the task at hand and give their best effort, they will get good, consistent results.

Lead by example first.

Captains show up on time, listen, and hustle. Over time, captains learn to lead vocally in a team setting, and the best captains are comfortable calling out teammates who fail to meet expectations.

Enjoy the process.

Many players spend their seasons waiting for the next game, but captains appreciate the grind. They look forward to getting better every day, being challenged, and pursuing greatness in little things – they understand games do not have much meaning without everything else in between.

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