How to Select Captains

How to Select Captains

The following article was written by Spencer Wood.

What is the best way to select a captain? Should the selection be under the control of the coach or should captains be selected through a team vote?

Dear Coach:

Your question was selected because it is a very common question among coaches. Though I have worked with teams who have had success using each of the strategies mentioned, I usually recommend selecting captains with a blend of the two strategies. The way this works is to encourage a ‘blind’ vote for your players to select a captain (to minimize potential resentment among your players) and have the coach’s vote also carry the power of at least one veto if the coach is opposed to the captain that the players have selected. This is important because sometimes players are selected as captains by their peers because they are a social bully on that team or may have high social credibility on the team without the required leadership skills, work ethic and/or integrity. If a coach does exercise his/her veto power, I do not usually recommend that the coach informs the team when the veto has been used. This strategy is typically good for morale by empowering the athletes with a vote for captain, but also ensures that a check and balance is in place just in case a captain has been selected with a personality and set of habits that might potentially be a disruptive or poisonous presence throughout the season.

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