Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Oh, Captain, My Captain

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By Scott Martin

A question for coaches: How do you select a team captain?

I named my captains last night. I have done this in many ways but with the same objective: To put the leader or leaders of the team in the forefront; for them to lead. As coaches, sometimes it’s obvious. Sometimes we allow the players to vote. Sometimes we select according to seniority. Sometimes according to status. And sometimes because it just “fits”.

This time I chose three for my U14 select team: One is a true leader. One is growing into the role and I am confident this will help propel him into maturity. And one because he’s a hell of a player that truly “feels” the game and I want his passion to be regarded and used as an example.

How do you select your captains? What are the criteria you use? Do you reward work ethic, place the armband on an extension of yourself to be able to speak to the officials, or do you trust your gut that such a role will allow the player to grow?

For my last two select teams, both at the U13 age, I carried two armbands in my match bag and we rotated two captains for each match. No player donning the C a second time until everyone had represented our team. Some jumped at the chance whenever the opportunity came with hands up for every match. But a few always jockeyed for position before the big matches, the tournament final or league championship. Those were the kids that I probably would have selected had they been older and the team ready for set captains.

As your season nears, what will you take into consideration? How important do you view the role of a team captain? Who will represent your team?

Let’s simplify the game.

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