It’s one thing to be a good team player, but it’s another to be a good captain. Few will have the opportunity to have such an important role. If you are fortunate enough to become captain of your soccer team, you will have to be a leader for your teammates both on and off the field.
The most important part of being a captain is leading by example. Because you are the captain, your teammates will respect you and follow you. Regardless of the situation, your teammates have to see you work as hard as possible to win the games.
Some ways to show your effort include never giving up on a play. This is especially important if you are losing during a game. Do not let the situation determine your effort. Let your teammates know that you will always give your best effort even if you do not win the game.
On the field, you must demonstrate good sportsmanship and treat your opponents with respect. After the match is over, be sure to shake hands too.
Not only should rivals be treated with respect but also the authority. In fact, in many sports, captains are the only players who are allowed to speak with referees. Remember that the referee is in charge on the field and you cannot let his decisions affect your game.
However, do not be afraid to discuss the decisions with the referees. Just remember to do it respectfully. Asking why something was or is not a fault and explaining why you think otherwise is much better than trying to argue that the referee was wrong.
Many times, at the beginning of the matches, referees share certain rules with the captains of which the players must be aware. Be sure to share these rules with your teammates and coaches so everyone has an idea of how the officials plan to judge the game.
Another important part of leading by example is to let your teammates know that it is important to admit your mistakes. Do not make excuses when things go wrong. If you are not willing to accept responsibility, your colleagues will have no reason to do the same. It is important to always encourage others after they make a mistake and let them know that things will turn out well.
Body language matters. Do not do things like shrug your shoulders or throw your arms in the air if a teammate makes a mistake. Even without saying anything, this type of gestures communicates negative feelings and sends a bad message to your team.
As a leader, you want your teammates to know they can talk to you about the team, their performance and how the season is going. Also, invite your colleagues to talk to each other. Good communication in a team sport leads to success.
As a captain, you know that training is as important as the game. Just like in games, you have to be willing to work hard to show your teammates what is important.
While the coach is in charge of the team, he cannot be everywhere at once and is likely to need your help. If you notice that someone needs help, offer it instead of waiting for the coach to notice. If it’s time for the training to start and your coach is doing something else, organize a stretch or exercise to make sure they do something productive.
There are many types of leadership. Being a captain is not screaming for shouting. Take, for example, the case of Lionel Messi in the Argentine National Team. Messi is a silent leader. Messi does not scream, but asks for the ball. It is the same case of Andrés Iniesta. Two players who do not shout or seek to be protagonists, but play, do great things, and from there, try to lead their teams towards the objectives.
Believe me, good captains are not born; being a good leader, like any other aspect of the sport, takes time and practice. If you have been chosen or you feel ready to take this role within your team, congratulations, now you have more a responsibility than a privilege. Do it with honor and enjoy the trip.