I’d like to start this article with telling you that the criteria I use to pick my Soccer team captain depends on the age of the team. At a young age I think it’s good idea to make all the players team captain by turn. So every player has the experience of being the soccer team captain. Some player will like to be the captain and some won’t. That’s no problem for me, I want all of them to try it. I think it helps their development and understanding for the captain. If a player did the job once, the will respect their soccer team captain when they are older. Until the age of U12 I’d like to rotate team captains. After U12 I will select 2 or 3 players who will be the team captains. I select the Soccer Team Captains on different kind of qualities.
A Soccer Team Captain needs soccer qualities.
One of the first thing I look at are the soccer qualities of the players. It doesn’t make any sense to me to have a team captain who is on the bench most of the time. He/She won’t be able to guide the team because he/she won’t be on the field. So my soccer team captain is a player who is playing most of the games. The position in the field is for some coaches a hot topic but not for me. The goalkeeper, left defender or striker, it doesn’t matter to me. Of course it is an advantage when your team captain is playing in the centre of the field so he/she can easily communicate with all the other players on the field, but it’s not necessary in my opinion.
A Soccer Team Captain needs a good work ethic.
A Soccer Team Captain is the example for the team. Because other players wants to compare themselves to the team captains, the need to have a good work ethic. If your team captains aren’t working hard on practices and during games, it almost allows the other players to do the same. I’d like to have a Soccer Team Captain with a lot of persistence. A player who won’t give up and always keeps going. This is something I want him/her to do on practice and in games. My captain has to be a player who is a fair player. He/She should know the unwritten fair play rules and always give the right example.
My Soccer Team Captain needs to keep up with our team agreements.
As I just explained in the previous part about the work ethics, the soccer team captains need to set the example. This also applies on keeping up with the team agreements. If the team captains aren’t following the rules, why should all the other players do so? I want my soccer team captains to be “good guys”. They have to be the example in everything, so work ethics, keeping up with the team agreements and in behaviour. I don’t like to see my captain arguing with the ref or with the opponent. I don’t want my team captains to talk back to me on the field and give me an attitude.
At the right time, the Soccer Team Captain needs to give his opinion.
I just told you I don’t want my team captains to talk back to me on the field. But I also want him/her to give their opinion. This will probably sounds conflicting, but the key is where and when. I really value the opinion of my team captains, but not on the field. On the field everything has to be clear and with an argument this won’t get clear. But of the field, after the game or before a practice, I really like to know what my team captains think about certain issues.
The Team Captains have to be accepted by the other team members.
Last but definitely not least, the soccer team captains have to be accepted by the other team members. A team captain is a leader, someone who is in charge when the coaches aren’t there. Someone who other player have to listen to. So it’s really important the other players are accepting the team captains as their leaders. Some people call this a natural leader. Maybe that’s right, maybe there are some player who will be accepted straight away as the leader. I think this is one of the most important qualities a soccer team captain needs.
How do you think about picking a Soccer Team Captain? Do you rotate or is the same player your captain? Please let me know what kind of qualities you are looking for in a captain by commenting!