It is an honor to be named a team captain. The position of captain is given to athletes who garner teammates’ respect and trust to lead them in the right direction. There are many important qualities that this leader must embody. They accept responsibility for the team, both good and bad. They perform well in the clutch to lead the team to victory. It is also expected that they are a model of excellence for the rest of the team. Ultimately, team leaders are essential to executing the team’s vision and setting the tone for the team. Here are three leadership skills that you should develop and embody to become your next captain.
3 C’s of being a Captain
As a team captain, your attitude and actions set the tone for the rest of the team. A positive demeanor, even during tough times, will build a stronger team dynamic. Your can-do attitude will motivate your team to give their all day in and day out. You should have passion for the game, for your teammates, and how to bring it all together in competition. Every teammate offers value, and the ability to recognize this is paramount. The bottom line, you should care. This applies both on and off the field. Pay attention to each individual teammate. If someone is struggling or having a bad day, take the extra time to find out what is bothering them. Showing them you care about them not only as a teammate but as a person will galvanize your connection and relationship as a leader.
Compete, compete, compete. Day in and day out, you should be the hardest worker
in the room. Lead by example. Hold yourself to a standard of giving it your all each and every day, with the understanding that some days you can give more than others. You should embody the core values of the team and live them through the good and bad times. It’s easy to feel good when you’re winning. True character shines through when things get tough. As a consistent captain, you are the captain of the ship. Your team will look to you for direction and follow your example.
The ability to communicate is arguably the most important quality a leader can have. Great communicators are made, not born. The ability to communicate, like most skills, can be sharpened with time and dedication. It involves building trust and accountability by both talking AND listening. The ability to listen will help you to understand what your team needs as a whole, not just you as an individual. Good communication allows the team to know that their opinions are not only valued but appreciated. Fostering an environment where every opinion matters will help to forge team chemistry and, ultimately, a winning atmosphere.
Great leaders are willing to accept criticism and continuously learn from their shortcomings. After all, the best lessons often come as a result of past failures. Find your leadership style and be true to who you are. The ability to be genuine and completely yourself adds to your credibility as a leader. Show your teammates you care, consistently do the work, and listen. Hone in on these 3 C’s, and you’ll be on your way to being captain.
Kevin is a former collegiate baseball player turned Personal Trainer and Fitness Consultant to a global corporate wellness company. He is passionate about fitness and the importance of a holistic relationship with health/wellness. He loves anything outdoors, a good cup of coffee, and chasing his hyperactive 3-year-old (all of which oddly correlate with each other). To learn more, reach out to him at [email protected]