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David Jacobson | @positivecoachus
Related: Sample Parent-Guardian Meeting Agenda
While preparing for the high school lacrosse season, give some thought to the role of captains on your team. When considering the role of captains on your team, you’ll want to consider three main topics:
All are important considerations that can help you succeed in the short- and long-term, on the field and beyond.
Rather than simply awarding the title of captain to your best performer, Positive Coaching Alliance recommends that captains be “Triple-Impact Competitors,” who are committed to improving themselves, their teammates and the game as a whole. Introduce the concept of the Triple-Impact Competitor during tryouts and preseason so that players understand the basis on which you will select captains.
In addition to helping you identify captains, this will inspire players who aspire to captaincy to suddenly pay a bit more attention to helping their teammates. As you might expect, this will improve individual and team performance and can reinforce a strong team culture, which carries rewards far beyond the playing field.
Once you have identified your Triple-Impact Competitors, other determining factors could include:
Captains should complement coaches as arbiters of team culture. Sometimes, they may help you focus players’ attention when it wanders. Other times, they may represent players’ points of view on game strategy, practice plans or how to ensure that all players stay aligned toward team goals.
Each coach must find his or her own comfort level with the captain’s level of authority among teammates and take care to understand and cultivate the appropriate level of respect teammates afford to captains. With the right balance, coaches can keep a finger on the pulse of the team through the captains, and captains can voice the players’ divergent ideas to coaches without undermining the coaches’ authority.
Captains also can lead in a variety of routine ways, such as:
Choosing the right captains and charging them with appropriate responsibilities sets them up not only as team leaders, but also as exemplars for your program.
They can proudly represent your team in the broader community, such as in booster clubs or with school or district administrators. They can visit the youth lacrosse organizations that feed your school and encourage younger players to continue working on their games so they can play for your school team. They can return after graduating to share inspiring stories of the past with their successors who are carrying forward the established values, traditions and culture of your program.
What other criteria do you use to select captains? Leave a suggestion in the comments section.
Photo Credit: Scott McCall
To learn more about how the US Lacrosse-PCA national partnership benefits your organization, visit our partner page or contact PCA at (866) 725-0024 or PCA@PositiveCoach.org.
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