What Makes a Great Team Captain?

by Stephen Walker, PhD, CC-AASP

Skill Sets That Make a Great Team Captain

Coaches have varying expectations of their team captains.  Some will follow the adage of  ‘expect nothing be prepared for everything’ while others will want their team captain to serve as an assistant coach.  Leadership is a variable that can distinguish a great sports captain.  But what does that look like on a collegiate team?

Jesse Michel, Dr. Greg Shelley from Ithaca College and Dr. Noah Gentner from Georgia Southern University collaborated on a qualitative research study of the behaviors most recognized as defining a great team captain.  At any level these skills prove illuminating, and offer some great guidelines useful to both coaches and team captains alike.

7 Qualities of Great Team Captains
  • They Always Put The Team First. Great captains aren’t interested in personal glory. …
  • They Lead By Example. …
  • They Inspire Those Around Them. …
  • They Have A Positive Relationship With Coaches & Teammates. …
  • They Embody The Core Values of Their Team. …
  • They Work Hard & Persevere. …
  • They Step Up When The Team Needs Them.

Jesse Michel – Behaviors of Successful NCAA Sport Captains



One thought on “What Makes a Great Team Captain?

  • July 28, 2010 at 9:35 am

    Thanks for posting this Dr. Walker!
    Love the site-


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