How to Be a Good Captain in Field Hockey
Being chosen as the captain of the team is a tremendous honor. It means that your coach and teammates trust you to lead the team. But, be prepared because being captain comes with loads of responsibilities. You have to be a leader on and off the field and put more of yourself into the team than any other player, and sometimes it can be a challenge to balance leading the team and being able to focus on your own skills.
This guide will teach you how to develop and improve your leadership qualities, so you can be the best possible captain for your team.
Earning the Captain’s Band
If your goal is to become captain, these simple behavior traits will help you gain the respect of your teammates and coach(es).
Communication is one of the most important aspects of leading a team. To show that you can handle the responsibility, be vocal during practice. You can give your input by:
- Pushing yourself and your team to run faster
- Encouraging a teammate after she makes a good pass
- Being positive during games
Showing your dedication by constantly encouraging and motivating your team will get you noticed on the field. Your teammates and coaches will naturally come to think of you as a leader and a team player — both of which are important to being a good captain.
If you want to be taken seriously as a player and potential captain, you have to be dedicated to the team. This means showing up to practice on time, in full equipment, and ready to play — both mentally and physically.
When you become captain, not only do you have to be ready for every practice, but you also have to lead the team. So, make sure to prove to everyone that you can handle the time commitment and responsibilities early on. By doing this, you will prove to them that you are a responsible and dedicated player.
Develop Your Skills
The captain isn’t necessarily the best player on the team, but she does have to be skilled in the sport. One of your responsibilities is to lead the team on the field. Being a competitive player will naturally give you an advantage in making plays and creating opportunities on the field for your team.
If you are a mediocre player, you can develop your skills by working hard each and every day at practice. Sports don’t come easy to everyone, but if you put in enough hard work, you will get better — maybe even become the best. Listed below are a few ideas to help you improve your skills:
- Read guides and watch videos on how to improve your skills
- Enroll in skills camps (check out iSport’s Camps to find one in your area)
- Ask your coach for feedback on how to improve
- Run harder and faster than your teammates
- Practice your stick skills in your free time
Know the Game
Understanding different game strategies will help you make plays on the field. You can gain this knowledge by learning from your coach, long-term experience, watching the sport, or reading about different game strategies.
You also want to have a comprehensive knowledge of the game rules. When you’re the captain, you are the only player allowed to debate calls with the referee, so you want to make sure you know the rules.
Maintaining the Captain’s Band
Harold S. Geneen
American Businessman & CEO
If you are already the captain of your team, these suggestions will help you improve your leadership qualities on and off the field.
Lead by Example
Set a high standard for your team by setting it high for yourself. You can’t ask your team to do anything you wouldn’t. So, be a leader by:
- Being the first player to arrive at practice and the last to leave
- Running your hardest during conditioning
- Being alert at practice
- Hustling from one drill to the next
- Encouraging your teammates to excel
- Expecting the best from yourself and your teammates
Your teammates and coach(es) will respect you more if you lead by example. Have pride in everything you do, and your team will follow.
It may seem like a simple concept, but maintaining a positive attitude is harder than you’d think. During practice or games, a negative player can bring down the whole team. It is your job to keep everyone’s spirits up and focused on field hockey. Remind your team to concentrate on its end goal. By setting a positive example, you will improve team moral and get the intensity flowing through your team.
Motivate Your Team
Motivate your team by establishing a common goal. Do you want to win a game? Win the league? Or just have fun? Decide early on and stick to it. Then, when the team is complaining about running sprints, suggest running extra. Remind them of your team’s end goal and how sprinting will help them achieve it.
As the captain, you are no longer just a player; you are an authority figure on the team. Besides the coach, you become the go-to player for team and personal problems. So if your teammate comes to you with an issue, work to develop a solution and keep the conversation confidential.
You may also have to confront another player about her behavior at practice. Make sure to be fair when discussing the situation and work on developing a win-win solution to the problem. You can always ask the coach to help with the situation if it is too tough to handle.
Care about Your Team
How can you expect the players to care about the team if you don’t? Your job as captain is to motivate your team. So, work hard to develop the relationships between the players and coach(es). You have to be the best player on your team in the sense that you are always “on” and focused.
Being captain may seem like a lot of work, but the end result is incredibly rewarding. When your team succeeds, you will feel a since of accomplishment for all of your hard work. Start leading your team today by using these simple traits of a leader!