Selecting Captains for a High School Sports Team

Posted: September 20, 2012 by alexkaminetzky in Announcement

Coaches provide the main source of leadership on youth sports teams from the earliest ages through high school, but as kids grow older, some of the leadership is sprung onto a few select players on a team, referred to as “team captains.” As kids grow up and become more independent, it becomes more difficult for coaches to recognize any personal issues hampering individual players. As a result, many coaches choose to have a few captains on the team that can report back to the coaches if any issues arise among the other players. When selecting captains, the ideal scenario is to choose ones that are not only leaders on the field, but are also responsible and respectable off the field. There are two ways you can go about selecting captains for your team.

  1. Designation: As the coach, if you believe you know the players on your team well enough, then it is a good idea to elect your own captains for the team. Most likely, the players that you select will feel honored with the responsibility you have bestowed upon them, and will feel it their duty to fulfill their new leadership roles.
  2. Election: Oftentimes, coaches leave it up to the players of the team to anonymously vote for whom they feel should be captains. This strategy can work very well, considering the players likely know each other very well and would be able to make stronger evaluations about whom would be the best leaders. However, this can be an issue if a player that is elected is not a very skilled player. It is difficult to be one of the main leaders of the team from the bench, so keep in mind that you may experience this issue if you decide to take this route.

Neither method is clearly better than the other; the decision is truly up to you. If you feel that you know who would make the best captains, then make the decision yourself. If not, let the team decide. But remember that at the end of the day, the selection of captains can make a big influence on the season ahead. Captains are needed to pick up the team when its down, calm down the team when it gets cocky, and communicate team and player issues with the coaches. These are vital tasks that need to be carried out for any high school sports team, so do your best to choose your captains wisely.

Let us know what you think and if you prefer one method over another.


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