Mentoring a great team captain is essential to the success of your team and their season. Although you may have a key candidate in mind to fill the role as your team’s captain, it takes more than an official title to be a great leader, it takes hard work, dedication and patience. Here’s our top 4 tips to mentoring a great team captain.
Picking the right individual
Finding the right person to lead the rest of the team isn’t as easy as it seems. You’ll need to select a captain that can stay focused on the task at hand, handle feedback whether it’s good or bad, and (most importantly) someone who has the potential to grow throughout the season. Your captain is someone the other team members can talk to about their performance, concerns and how to improve as a player from a peers point of view. Once you’ve determined who you want to lead the team, you can begin to train them to be a better athlete and person.
Following good examples and mentors
As a young captain with no experience leading a group, your captain may doubt themselves or feel uncertain about how they should act toward their team mates in certain situations. You can help them determine what kind of captain they want to be by finding out who their personal mentors are. Whether it is a professional athlete, parent, or teacher, ask them what traits they admired from their mentor and figure out how they can utilize those traits throughout the season.
Don’t make assumptions
This may be the first time that your captain has had this much responsibility on their shoulders so don’t be too hard on them. There may be some techniques or information that might seem basic to you but may be completely new to them. If you notice that they aren’t progressing or picking up on a technique or play, give them helpful, constructive advice on how they could improve. Take this moment to step in and teach not only your captain but the rest of the team the proper way to execute a maneuver.
Create a line of communication
Build a rapport with your captain so that they can come to you during triumphs or frustrations. Without that line of communication, your captain could bottom up how they feel and unintentionally take their frustrations out on their team mates. By teaching them how to verbalize concerns, good or bad, you’re helping them problem solve and learn to communicate in a constructive way to not only their peers, but to you as well.