Captain Selection: How does it work?

Sofia Georgaklis, Sports Managing Editor

Junior Colin McCarthy describes the ideal team captain as “a great leader, someone you can relate to, have a conversation with, then 10 seconds later be able to follow them onto the court with confidence.” But, what is the ideal way to select a captain?

Athletic teams at the high school select captains in several different ways; some coaches hold interviews, some teams vote and some coaches select captains on their own. Although team members are generally satisfied with the captains chosen, athletes tend to prefer voting for their own captain as opposed to having a coach decide for them.

Team captains at the high school have the important job of leading the team and being role models, according to freshman hockey player Dafna Williams.

“A team captain needs to be and do many things: be responsible, enthusiastic, lead warm-ups, cheers, and plan outside activities, such as dinners,” Williams said.

According to junior Joseph Pierre, team captains must have a close relationship with their teammates, which is why it is important that team members have a say in captain selection.

“The ideal captain is not only committed to the sport itself,” Pierre said. “They’re committed to the success and well-being of their teammates too.”

McCarthy said he believes that captains have the responsibility of being the main communicator between the team and the coach.

“The captain generally has a better understanding of the team, because he is playing with them,” McCarthy said. “So, the captain is exposed to more team controversy. If need be, the captain has the responsibility of confronting the coach about it.”

Senior track and cross country captain Emma Larrabee believes that teammates should vote for their team captain, as they will be their leaders and role models for the whole season.

According to Larrabee, captains are voted for by teammates for cross country and selected by the coach for indoor and outdoor track and field.

“When team members vote on who they want as captain, it is more fair than the coach just choosing, as the coach doesn’t know how the entire team feels about the captain selection,” Larrabee said. “There have been instances in which teammates have felt that the coach choosing the captain was unfair.”

Junior Henry Peebles-Capin said that the boys track coach selected captains himself, based on who showed interest and leadership.

“There was not much controversy over who was selected,” Peebles-Capin said. “Generally those who wanted it got the position. People who didn’t want it as much didn’t try as hard for it.”

Although McCarthy said he believes captains should be voted on by teammates, he has been generally satisfied with his coach’s selection of team captains.

“No one’s ever questioned the captain selection,” McCarthy said.

However, McCarthy said that he and his teammates on the boys golf team were bothered by the fact that they did not get a say in captain selection.

“Captainship is a position normally earned. If you feel like you’ve earned that position, yet it is awarded to someone else, it can feel personal,” McCarthy said. “That feeling of earning a leadership position should be unanimous across all of your teammates, not just one person.”