Blood, Sweat, Tears: What it Takes to be a Sports Captain

Danielle May, Designer

Organizing the team, enforcing the rules of the game and boosting morale are among the many responsibilities of being a sports captain. Now, what does it mean to be a captain? Which qualities are sought when selecting them?

The first of these qualities is experience. Captains are expected to understand the rules and tend to be a member on the team years before becoming a captain. Cross-country and swim captains Zoe Dondero and Michael Johnson both joined their respective teams two years before ascending to their current positions. Dondero attributes running cross-country in sixth grade to aiding her in being recommended.

Another important component is communication—not only among teammates but coaches and referees as well. According to volleyball and softball coach Kari Thompson, “Coaches are not allowed to talk to referees but captains are, so they have special roles in volleyball where we can send the person up to have the conversation. They need to be an experienced player that understands the rules and can communicate between the coach and the referee because we can’t step out on the court.”

In order to fulfill other responsibilities such as keeping the team organized, prepared and unified, communication is essential. “Captains have to set aside time to make sure the team is organized,” Johnson said.

In addition, sportsmanship is needed to lead by example, follow the rules and support the team.  This is to take steps towards improvement. “My main rules on my team no matter which one I’m coaching is to try to get better at practice every day and be better teammates. If you can do those two things, I think you’re in consideration for being a captain,Thompson explained.