Being a team captain involves more than a courtesy title. A good captain has many leadership skills and is respected by all of their fellow players. Choosing a team captain can be complex. Deven Patel lists the 10 things that make a great team captain, exploring how their personal qualities can make a difference to the team’s success.
1. Putting the Team First
The best captains are not interested in personal glory. They are constantly looking for ways to better serve their team and help players accomplish their goals. They share the mentality that the whole team can work together to achieve more than they could as an individual.
One example of a captain who always put the team first was Jason Varitek of the Red Sox. His behind-the-plate skills enabled him to take a back seat to the pitchers he was supporting, while his personal leadership made a difference in the overall fortunes of the team.
2. Leading by Example
Captains who lead by example have a strong worth ethic. They are capable of representing their teams on and off the field and they have an outstanding passion for the game. They are the kind of player that everyone on the team looks up to.
Captains’ responsibility is to lead the players around them and set an example for expectations. They have extra responsibilities, ensuring that everything runs smoothly.
A captain does everything they expect their teammates to do in addition to the responsibilities of leadership. They are not afraid to take on more responsibilities to help the team.
3. They are Inspirational
A great team captain not only leads by example, but they also inspire players to do more. Players are more likely to follow a leader with passion and enthusiasm. A captain isn’t afraid to support what they believe in and always spreads positive energy.
Enthusiasm is a big part of the job of being a captain. One example of a sports captain who led his team through enthusiasm was Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts. His positive attitude helped his teams achieve great things.
4. Maintaining Positive Relationships
According to Deven Patel, a good team captain always maintains positive relationships with the coaches, players, and fans. The best captains model the behavior they expect others to exhibit and earn respect.
Having high expectations for teammates means that they will strive to meet the captain’s wishes for them. The captain believes in the players, and their example helps players succeed.
5. Supporting Team Values
Each team may have different core values, depending on its goals. Often, teams value honesty, integrity, and excellence. Captains need to model these core values to encourage others to follow in their footsteps.
6. Hard Work and Perseverance
The captain is often the hardest-working player on the field. A strong work ethic can help any team succeed. Players may feel like giving up, but captains are able to encourage positive energy and give their players an example of buckling down and doing the hard work.
7. Stepping Up for the Team
If their team is lacking in energy or facing adversity, a great team captain can find a way to step up and encourage others to succeed. Inspiring teammates, staying positive, and continuing to fight in the face of adversity can all help the team to turn its attitude around.
8. Being Humble
Captains have the capability to put their own glory aside and focus on the team as a whole. They may be one of the better players on the field, but a good captain avoids grandstanding and shows a balanced, humble attitude.
Excellent captains need to be confident in their own abilities. They also need to be confident about their team’s chances of winning. Even if the team is in a slump, the captain can’t let their confidence slide.
10. Communication Skills
A captain needs to be the voice of the entire team. They need to be able to communicate effectively with players and coaches alike. They need to be able to project their ideas and show what they expect from their players.
Great Leaders Work Hard
John C. Maxwell once said, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” This quote encapsulates what it means to be a good captain. Combining all of these virtues with talent on the playing field, the captain can be a good example not only for their teammates but also for young fans in the stands.
When captains act with integrity and a strong work ethic, they can lead their teams to victory. Deven Patel encourages players who want to be captains to work on their leadership skills.