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What is needed to be a good team captain?

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Old
08-02-2011, 04:47 AM
  #1
night-timer
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What is needed to be a good team captain?

My team is in an adult league. I am the Alternate captain and the team manager.

Myself and the captain are the only returning players, who played for the team last year. We were put into these roles because we were the only guys who weren't newbies to the club.

Unfortunately the captain has poor communications skills and just isn't very bright.

I don't want to be captain because I feel I'm not the team's best player and I already have enough on my plate.

I send emails, text messages and communicate regularly with the team. They tell me their problems. The captain does nothing, not even checking his emails for weeks or replying to text messages.

He has dragged the team name through the dirt with altercations and arguments and he has ruined everyone's fun. "It only takes one person", as I have found out in the workplace, too.

If he goes, who do we replace him with? Exactly what is needed to be a good team captain?

Maybe hockey skills and high goal scoring stats aren't the only issue?

I feel worn-out by a lot of this stuff. Being a team manager has helped me learn about behind-the-scenes organizational hockey stuff, whereas most of my team are apathetic and "just want to play".

However, a lot of work is done behind the scenes (organizing a season of hockey) so these guys can just show up for the game.

Being a team manager in my league is an unpaid and largely thankless task. Sorry for the rant. What do you think are important skills for a good team captain?

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08-02-2011, 05:26 AM
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ColeJ
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i think the most important thing is to be a good example.

a guy who does everything right and does nothing controversial, and volunteers for the dirty work that people won't want to do. just someone who can set an example as to what the team needs. stable and simple.

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08-02-2011, 07:18 AM
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Noir
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I'm going to sound like an ass, but I expect my captain to be one of the best players of my team.

For some reason, I have trouble giving weight to the words of a leader who: can't lead by example, can't practice what they preach, don't have the skills/performance equal to what he is asking/expecting from his team.



But this is really for competitive settings. In bush league (esp. in the lower tiers) where everyone is just there to play recreationally, it's usually the person who organized the team that are the defacto captains.

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08-02-2011, 09:05 AM
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In adult beer league where you have no coaches the best leaders to me are the guys that can get people to take on the appropriate roles, style of play, and dictate mood. Now the key is to do all that and not piss off too many people along the way. They don't need to be the best player and often are not, but they seem to at least be pretty good. But that is just my experience

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08-02-2011, 10:06 AM
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My captain is one of the worst players on the team but everyone respects him. He manages all the team finances and communication with the league, puts together the roster, and sets the tone in terms of good attitude in the locker room and on the bench.

He doesn't do much in terms of coaching or putting together lines, other than generally telling us the same cliches that every coach will do (go to the net, stick on the ice, one man deep, etc).

Our assistants (one forward, one defense) will come up with lines and pairings and again set an example in terms of hard work, good attitude, etc.

Our team is fairly low level though and it is competitive but still recreational hockey, so mostly people are left to get their coaching and what not on their own time.

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08-02-2011, 11:15 AM
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To me a good Captain is someone with passion for the game, that will defend their teammates, sacrifice themselves, and do anything to help the team. The best example I can think of Jarome Iginla.

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08-02-2011, 03:35 PM
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The Spicy Shrimp
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I know it's just beer league, but what I think makes a solid captain/alternate is the ability to talk to the refs without whining (a la Crosby). Knowing how the refs will call things, as well as knowing how the other team plays, then telling the team what to do on the ice is huge too. Leadership in the dressing room is one thing, but leadership on the ice is another.

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08-04-2011, 03:39 PM
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He should lead by example, not act like a clown and he should be the most passionate guy out there.

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08-04-2011, 03:53 PM
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A beer league captain is not the same as a captain in competitive hockey. Just needs to be someone who can organize the administrative side (register the team, collect money, send out email roll-calls pre-game and contact subs), brings pucks and water bottles to games, and organize post-game beers/fundraisers/whatever.

Keeping the team focused and in-line (i.e. focus on the win, play hard, don't complain endlessly to refs or pull dirty bush league moves) is good too, but really anyone on the team can do that. The way I see it there isn't a clear top down structure in beer league like their is in competitive hockey (where everyone listens to the coaching staff first, captains second, other teammates third), everyone is more or less on the same level.

The organization side is actually quite a bit of work, on my team there isn't really a single "captain," there's 2-3 guys who organize the team (splitting up the duties), and not necessarily the same 2-3 guys each season, we rotate it somewhat to share the load. We're off-ice friends though and generally chill/good guys, so there isn't nearly as much need for a "firm hand" as I guess some teams might have.

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08-04-2011, 04:04 PM
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Agree with Ponder...it's not the same as an NHL/CHL/HS hockey captain. It's primarily behind-the-scenes work. Or the guy with the biggest credit card limit.

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08-04-2011, 04:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarick View Post
My captain is one of the worst players on the team but everyone respects him. He manages all the team finances and communication with the league, puts together the roster, and sets the tone in terms of good attitude in the locker room and on the bench.

He doesn't do much in terms of coaching or putting together lines, other than generally telling us the same cliches that every coach will do (go to the net, stick on the ice, one man deep, etc).

Our assistants (one forward, one defense) will come up with lines and pairings and again set an example in terms of hard work, good attitude, etc.

Our team is fairly low level though and it is competitive but still recreational hockey, so mostly people are left to get their coaching and what not on their own time.
This is basically the setup of my team too. I'd say there are roughly 5 categories of "captain type" jobs:
1) Dealing with finances/registration/the league
2) Setting the roster and lines for every game (includes emailing subs)
3) Bringing pucks and water bottles
4) Ordering jerseys
5) Organizing drinking/social stuff/fundraisers

And generally around 3 guys will take care of them in any given season, with roughly 1-2 duties per person. Nobody is really acting like a traditional coach/captain specifically, dealing with positional type advice and whatnot is generally done on a line/pairing level (i.e. the center tells the winger where he should be on breakouts, the dmen on each pairing discuss how to deal with odd man rishes, etc.), and obviously we never have practices. Talking to the ref is generally handled by any of the guys handling the organizational duties.


Edit:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarick View Post
Agree with Ponder...it's not the same as an NHL/CHL/HS hockey captain. It's primarily behind-the-scenes work. Or the guy with the biggest credit card limit.
For sure! Finances are definitely handled by the guys with the good jobs, not the broke ass grad students like me!

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08-04-2011, 04:59 PM
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Ability to stay focused and not pack it in when the game is going bad. Keep the other players motivated, both with your words and actions on the ice.

Maintain your confidence, not to be an arrogant d***, but so the more inexperienced players have someone they can look to as an example.

Helpful/encouraging words on the bench. I'm an ass't capt with one team and am often paired up with a rookie who hasn't played much D before. Sometimes something as simple as joking with him to help him forget a bad shift or one little pointer that might make his life easier.

"Don't worry about it man, let's get em the next shift." can help alot. I play with a lot of guys that are new to playing hockey (was myself not too long ago), so often it's more about learning and encouragement, rather than berating to challenge guys to play better.


Last edited by nullterm: 08-04-2011 at 05:05 PM.
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08-04-2011, 05:49 PM
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Trevor3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by night-timer View Post
My team is in an adult league. I am the Alternate captain and the team manager.

Myself and the captain are the only returning players, who played for the team last year. We were put into these roles because we were the only guys who weren't newbies to the club.

Unfortunately the captain has poor communications skills and just isn't very bright.

I don't want to be captain because I feel I'm not the team's best player and I already have enough on my plate.

I send emails, text messages and communicate regularly with the team. They tell me their problems. The captain does nothing, not even checking his emails for weeks or replying to text messages.

He has dragged the team name through the dirt with altercations and arguments and he has ruined everyone's fun. "It only takes one person", as I have found out in the workplace, too.

If he goes, who do we replace him with? Exactly what is needed to be a good team captain?

Maybe hockey skills and high goal scoring stats aren't the only issue?

I feel worn-out by a lot of this stuff. Being a team manager has helped me learn about behind-the-scenes organizational hockey stuff, whereas most of my team are apathetic and "just want to play".

However, a lot of work is done behind the scenes (organizing a season of hockey) so these guys can just show up for the game.

Being a team manager in my league is an unpaid and largely thankless task. Sorry for the rant. What do you think are important skills for a good team captain?
Sounds like you're already the captain. Find someone else who can help you out with the organization duties and stick A's on your jerseys and go without an official C. Tell the jerk who is your current captain to shape up or get out, and if he is ruining everyone's fun, they'll side with you.

I just have no time for guys who are selfish or not true team players, they drag everyone down and I've had to deal with them all the way up in hockey (I wore the C on several teams).

Generally, your captain should have a passion for the game and be respected by his teammates. If you have those qualities, the rest will follow.

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08-04-2011, 06:47 PM
  #14
5lidyzer19
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“Yzerman is not the youngest, the strongest, nor the fastest, and he was never the biggest. But make no mistake, he is the maximus of gladiators, the man who fights wounded and bleeding, with a heart as large as any lion they spring on him,” Mitch Albom said.

"There's one thing you can not defend against, and that is courage. Steve Yzerman just keeps laying it on the line every shift," ESPN analyst Bill Clement said in 2002.


Basically love for the game and leading by example on and off the ice.


Funny side story about captains even though it's not hockey related. My high school football team went undefeated, and our captains were the absolute worst possible choices for the position. They were our best players, and that is where their ability to lead ended. They were jerks to everyone and actively treated other team mates and the younger kids within the program worse than dirt. In fact, it went so far that one of our captains was making deals with the Juniors for their vote if he would "leave them alone" for a while. It was pathetic.

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08-04-2011, 06:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5lidyzer19 View Post
Funny side story about captains even though it's not hockey related. My high school football team went undefeated, and our captains were the absolute worst possible choices for the position. They were our best players, and that is where their ability to lead ended. They were jerks to everyone and actively treated other team mates and the younger kids within the program worse than dirt. In fact, it went so far that one of our captains was making deals with the Juniors for their vote if he would "leave them alone" for a while. It was pathetic.
Sounds like these guys have/had a promising future in politics.

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08-05-2011, 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by The Spicy Shrimp View Post
whining (a la Crosby).
People still yack about this tripe? Christ...

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08-05-2011, 07:10 AM
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trevor3 View Post
Sounds like you're already the captain. Find someone else who can help you out with the organization duties and stick A's on your jerseys and go without an official C. Tell the jerk who is your current captain to shape up or get out, and if he is ruining everyone's fun, they'll side with you.

I just have no time for guys who are selfish or not true team players, they drag everyone down and I've had to deal with them all the way up in hockey (I wore the C on several teams).

Generally, your captain should have a passion for the game and be respected by his teammates. If you have those qualities, the rest will follow.
Trevor, thank you for the kind words.... maybe I already am the captain.

In addition to all the behind-the-scenes stuff, I also organize fundraisers, control the team finances, arrange team social events and exhibition games and generally keep the peace... the latter keeps the team together and prevents the senior committee from disbanding the team entirely.

Apparently the view of the club/committeee is that we're an adult league and should be able to resolve matters amongst ourselves (as adults, not simpletons) so players on the team don't pester the senior committee with complaints or grievances.

If it wasn't for me, that team would've collapsed.

But I still don't think I have the sheer hockey-playing skills or game experience to be a captain yet.

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08-05-2011, 09:06 AM
  #18
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Yeah you're pretty much the captain. I'd say if you do the things you do and are a fair and likeable guy, everyone should respect you, and if they don't because of how you play, they probably aren't worth having on the team.

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08-06-2011, 03:29 AM
  #19
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A love for the game. The most important quality in a leader (at that level) is someone who wants to have FUN!

My pops has told me stories of a guy that ran his over 30 team and was a complete ass. He was always trying to give advice and criticism yet he was one of the least skilled players out there. Blaming teammates, barking orders from the bench. He ruined the season for several people. One time a pro named Sheldon Kennedy showed up to play and this guy says.."so what position do you play?" He took himself way too serious.

There are no NHL scouts at beer league games I'm sure you've noticed. I don't even think the point is to win...it's to have fun. With the age of the players I am with (20-72), we are just thankful to be alive at the end of a game!

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08-06-2011, 05:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hounsy View Post
In adult beer league where you have no coaches the best leaders to me are the guys that can get people to take on the appropriate roles, style of play, and dictate mood. Now the key is to do all that and not piss off too many people along the way. They don't need to be the best player and often are not, but they seem to at least be pretty good. But that is just my experience
This. If they suck, it's harder to earn respect.

What makes a good leader in any aspect of life (jobs, military, sports, etc)... it is generally the same. LDRSHIP for us military guys... for everyone else... I'd say you need to have respect for your teammates, dedication to the team, responsibility, a command presence, integrity, patience, and the ability to not abuse power/influence. Certainly other things.

But in my opinion, you need to be at least capable at what you are doing if you expect people to follow you. If you suck or can't lead properly, you won't last long! Look for someone with confidence who can adapt to situations and learn as they go.

My two cents.

edit: Based on what you've said, I think you'd do fine.

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