Great leaders . Everyone’s looking for them. Check out this list for a good start at creating the type of leaders that will put your team on the road to success.
5 things that coaches look for in captains and team leaders
1. Integrity: Who are they when no one is looking?
A great team leader will be committed to working out in the off-season, hosting recruits, and being a good example for the rest of the team. They have a sense of humility about them, never wanting to abuse their perceived power position. They hold themselves and their teammates accountable to a very high standard of excellence in the classroom as well as on the field. They are motivated to portray a positive image of the student athlete: hard working, active on campus, and involved in the classroom. Finally, they are prepared. They know the scouting report, they come in early to help with whatever the coach or team needs, and they let the coach know of any problems that may be brewing in the background.
2. Awareness: Are they willing to be who their teammates need them to be?
There’s been a shift in the business world from following The Golden Rule (Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you) to The Platinum Rule, which says that we should do unto others as they would like to be done unto. That goes back to the different personality types that you’re sure to have on your team. The thought is that doing what I want could very possibly be exactly opposite of what you want and therefore the bridge isn’t passed. The good leader knows their teammates well and how they communicate.
3. Inspiring: Can they help focus the team on the common goal?
When they sit down with the team at the beginning of the season, they are the folks who are actively submitting ideas for those goals. They’ve been thinking about this for a while and have a vision that is as big as the coach’s and encompasses the whole team.
4. Straight-forward: Will they squash small issues before they become major drama?
I’m sure all of us coaches meet with our captains pretty regularly. And I’m sure that most of us ask them about things that are going on behind the scenes that we should know about. The straight-forward leader will have noticed any issues that are rearing their heads, respectfully gone to that teammate, and will have gotten it taken care of before we even know to ask.
5. Confident: Can they rally the troops in good times and bad?
Being a team leader is a tough job! We require them to be the vocal leader as well as to lead by example. We ask them to commit to working hard toward an unseen goal. And we ask them to keep their teammates motivated even when their classes are killing them, the team has just lost a big game, or the pressure’s on because you’ve won a lot games in a row.
Coaches, we can’t do it alone! We need great team leaders and captains for our teams to function at a high level. So let’s all agree to nurture these qualities on our teams.