On the teams that I’ve coached, the biggest thing that it takes to be a team captain is the respect of their peers. I’ve always been on teams or coached teams in which we have the team vote on captains, and usually the parameters are held in a way that it’s a junior, a senior, or an older person on the team. So there are some guidelines from the coaches and there may be some times when the coaches step in and say, “We don’t agree with this decision.”
But for the most part, the peers really pick the captains and so the respect of those around you is the key. And so for young people, I think for them to start thinking about well, one, if you’re going to be respected, you’re going to have to respect others. So how are you approaching your friends? How are you approaching your teammates? How are you approaching your coaches? If you carry yourself in a respectful way, then most likely people are going to respect you back.
How hard are you working? Your teammates are going to see that. What are you doing off the field? What decisions are you making off the field? Are you only caring about your sport performance when you’re at practice or in games, and then making negative decisions that impact the team when you’re off the field? Are you getting your work done in the classroom? Are you a well-rounded person?
I think all of these things are, even though your friends when you’re young might not tell you these things, they’re definitely picking up on them, and that is what earns you the respect as a captain. So those are some of the things that I’ve seen lead to captainship or leadership on the teams that I’ve coached.