Hockey is a team game where leadership is
essential. Good leadership can be the difference from the team being good
rather than mediocre.
You may be asking, “Why does there need to be
a leader, when the coach is supposed to be the leader?”
The reason on ice leadership is so important
is because hockey players typically respond to peer motivation, and peer
pressure, at a much deeper level than when the message is received from a coach.
Being a team captain is not easy but it is a
very important part of the composition of your team. Team captains are
generally selected a couple of ways; either the coach chooses the team leaders
or there is a team vote.
Either way it is a great honor to be named the
captain and it shows the team and coach have confidence in the chosen player’s
leadership ability. The leader does not have to be the star of the team, or
even on the first line, to be a captain.
Here are nine qualities you need to be an
effective team captain.
1 - The captain must be self-motivated. Team
captains are the heart and soul of a team, going all out every minute on the
ice, during games as well as in practice. The captain should be the first one
at practice and one of the last to leave.
2 - Captains firmly believe that the best
interest of the team always comes first.
3 - Captains are bold, tenacious, fearless,
prepared, fluid and enthusiastic.
4 - Captains are great listeners and have a
thirst to improve. When a coach tells them something, they should listen to the
meaning of the words and not how it is said.
5 - Captains expect and demand the best from
themselves and their teammates.
6 - Captains choose their words carefully. The
words of the captain mean more than that of any other player.
7 - The captain encourages teammates. A good
leader keeps the team upbeat and positive. If a teammate is down, the captain
picks the player’s spirits up.
8 - The good captain understands that mistakes
will be made. Good team leaders can’t get down on themselves or others when
mistakes happen because others will follow. So, instead of chastising each other,
learn from the mistake and move on.
9 - Captains do not allow others to talk
negatively about the team. Captains should take any insult about a team member
as an insult against the whole team.
These elements should not be left at the rink.
The captain should have a firm grasp on his team on and off the ice. Lead by
* Disclaimer: This site may contain advice, opinions and statements from various authors and information providers. Views expressed in this article reflect the personal opinion of the author, Stephen Heisler, and not necessarily the views of JuniorHockey.ca. JuniorHockey.ca does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement or other info provided in the article, or from any other member of this site.