There are leaders…
…and then there are those who lead.
Ask any player/coach and they’ll tell you being named captain of their team isn’t something to be taken lightly. Where in the past a player was more about motivating him/herself and preparing themselves for a game – now they have a full team to consider. So what makes Captain Material?
- We do not know if there is any one personality that makes a person a better captain than another or a good leader for that matter, but they are, first and foremost, a tremendous hockey player that is consistently reliable.
- How could earning a “C” on your sweater not change the way you play and view the game? You have to be yourself and never stray from your comfort zone. Do not change your game as you will likely put too much pressure on yourself and that’s when you start trying to do too much and wind up hurting your team. You can’t be something you’re not – never change your personality.
- Some Captains are very hands-on – they fire guys up in the locker room, in practices and off ice. Captains are vocal when they need to be and are never cutting corners. Team captains need to put the team before themselves and coaches pick these players because they can lead this way by showing it in the game.
- Some are not vocal leaders. They do not have the big rah-rah speeches, but they do say the right things at the right time. This type of captain will back it up by doing it on the ice and always These individuals Lead by example and listen more and talk less.
- You must be mature enough and more secure in this role and, perhaps most importantly, more respected by your teammates and coaches. You are not just watching out for yourself now. You need everyone to feel like they’re a part of it.
- Most captains are known as those who play for the guys in the locker room more than anyone else. They have complete control of the dressing room and the attention of everyone in it.
- Every game or practice, they are the person everyone will follow and are typically the hardest worker on the team. It’s the old saying that a general doesn’t ask his troops to do something he wouldn’t do. They are not only a leader on the ice, but off the ice, too. Captains play the game the right way — hard, fast and respectful.
- Captains also realize that each player may have different objectives, different issues, different styles. You learn to handle each person differently, yet push them towards a common goal
- They never embarrass anybody in front of the team and they pull guys aside to deliver certain messages and makes sure that everybody in the room is comfortable and on the same page. Sometimes you might have to call out a friend and you cannot let the captain/friendship world collide. You will need to take a tough stance and sometimes hurt people in the interest the team.
- There can be other players a captain can lean on too. They need help from other players so that they do not feel it’s all on their shoulders to say all the right things at the right time. When things aren’t going well something needs to be said, and not just from the coaches or the captains. It can also be quite effective when other players speak up. There are other true leaders on your team who do not need a C or an A on their jersey.
- Never challenge the coaches lead around your teammates. Support your linemates and offer encouragement but withhold second-guessing the coaches decisions. Remember that even though you are the captain, you are first and foremost a player and a teammate.
Leader. Perfectionist. Driven. Responsible. Body. Heart. Soul. That’s what leadership is. You put on your sleeve what your team is going to be like when you get in that room and that’s what champions are made from. Self-driven athletes seem to fit all of these intangibles of being a great captain.