What is meant by the term ‘a natural leader?’ Do we mean a player who shows the way by example? Is it a person who inspires the other players through his communication and team talks? Or perhaps a much needed authority on the field, someone who is available to all other players when needed, a general…?
This list is endless. All the traits and characteristics above are to be found in a good soccer team captain. He should have just as much influence over his team off the pitch as he does on it.
The fundamental role of a soccer team captain is acting as a link between the manager or coach of the team and the players. He should have the ability to assist with communication, encourage an enthusiastic attitude amongst the players and promote a good team spirit.
A good soccer captain must also be able to bear responsibility for his players’ actions whilst on the field and make strategic changes as and when he deems it necessary during a match. He should be capable of giving orders and instructions to his team members and act authoritative when doing so. It is important he commands respect from the rest of the team.
Choose your team captain carefully as there are many considerations to take into account. Not only should he have the correct disposition but he must also have the ability to carry out any duties required of him. A soccer captain has many obligations and tasks to perform in his role. The checklist below outlines these.
- Communicate with the coach any concerns the players in the team may have.
- Put forward to coaching staff any suggestions or ideas the team may have.
- Show guidance and leadership both on and off the pitch.
- Conduct himself as a role model, working hard during matches and in training sessions.
- Show good sportsmanship. This includes fair conduct, respect for his team, coach and opponents and demonstrates graciousness when losing.
- Have a positive, committed and enthusiastic attitude. He should encourage others to follow his example.
- He should adhere to all codes of conduct and rules and regulations. He should support and encourage this across all team members.
- If there are arguments or disputes between team members, a good soccer captain will be able to step in and resolve any issues.
- A soccer captain should act as the spokesperson for the team in any communication with officials during a match.
- He should offer praise and encouragement to other members of the team when they are performing well. This helps to bring out the best in each individual player. He should be an inspiration to his colleagues, spurring them on in each game to perform to the best of their ability.
- A good soccer team captain should good knowledge and understanding of how his coach wishes the game to be played, his values and his philosophy. This is crucial in enabling the team captain to exert a positive influence over his team members. Meeting up regularly to discuss these principles with your team captain is an important part of a coach’s role.