I’ve written about the 10 Attributes of a good Team Captain in one of my previous articles. Today, I’d like to make a different approach to this topic and share some thoughts on what I (being a coach) expect my team captain to be like.
From my understanding, one of the core points for being an excellent basketball team captain is through hard work, desire and building an indisputable positive figure, on and off the court.
Just like any team in the “real world”, a basketball team must have players who can lead their teammates to achieve success. This is one of the challenge of the team captain.
When looking for a team captain I pay close attention to a couple of things. Firstly, he must be able to motivate his teammates and, from time to time, kick them in the butt, if things get out of hand. At any time he must demonstrate team leadership and should have the necessary personality enabling him to motivate and inspire fellow teammates.
Speaking of personality: I’ve had team captains with distinctive personalities in the past. For example, a few will bring very spicey temperaments, others can be quiet, cool and laid back. Nonetheless, these different types of characters were capable bringing together a mindset of team building. I’ve never had this situation before, but the downside is, if the captain is very much disinterested in practicing and leading, you can never count on the team members to behave any other way. Being a role model 24/7 is very important to me and I expect my team captain to be the same! He mus be the first one on and last one off the court during workout session.
Which ever kind of character you could have, a team captain should be capable to display these kinds of behaviours:
Respect: Preferably, he should be one of the best athletes on the position he plays on-court. If you have a outstanding athletic career, this can greatly help you in attaining the respect needed.
100% commitment, enthusiasm and love for the game of Basketball, as well as wanting to be competitive.
Having a specific team objective or goal which you support and can convey to your team. Usually these are the season or team goals you define before the season starts.
Respect for opponents, the rules, officials and any other individual part of the game, including parents, fans and supporters of our basketball program. All teammembers, including the team captain, represent our basketball program on and off the court.
Good working relationship with the other is the coaching staff. This requires to work as hard as possible during workouts, and surely the captains effort and devotion will be used by mentors as a glory example for others in the team. Captains go ahead and take spoken lead on the court. During the huddle or on the court of play, they keep a positive appearance, guide their teammates and lead them to the right path.
In our team, usually only the team captain is allowed to speak to the refs, for example if there is a call which is not in our favor. This prevents a possible “technical” against other players getting too loud, therefore our team captain is obliged to speak with the refs only in a quiet and respectful manner!
Even when our team captain is sitting on the bench, due to getting a rest or when he has an injury, I expect him to be at the game and in the pre- and postgame meetings. It is mandatory that he supports his teammates as often as possible and wherever possible.
Being the head of the team, besides the coach and staff, he has to build up great relationshsips with the rest of the group. It is very important that there is mutual respect from the team to the captain. Gaining respect won’t happen over night, so. As mentioned the captain shoud lead by example and give support. This also means giving constructive criticism, if there is a need.
By being a role model, teammates will follow in the footsteps of the captain and will be working together on the goals we have made up in the pre-season. Never forget, that in our sports success is always a team exertion. Even away from the court the team captain has to behave cosistently. Remember, there might be teammates who are much younger than others. They’ll watch and adopt positive and negative behaviour. It is very important, that we send the right message in terms of how we like to be perceived by others.
As captain, in no way debate with me as the coach in public, especially when teammates are around. Being the leader of the team, this could create quite a disorder between what I as a coach say and what the teamcaptain says. Don’t make the team choose a side, therefore address issues directly and privately.