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cca sports captain 2024

The Complexity and Leadership of Being a Team Captain

Oh, Captain! My Captain: The Complexity and Leadership of Being a Team Captain

Written by: By Abigail Tan


No matter what the sport, coaches need strong team leaders to establish a winning culture.

Teams are designed to work together, but having captains, the expectations and energy are elevated. These players are typically selected by the Coach and their remaining teammates for their leadership skills and passion for their sport.

According to Athletic Director and Head Boys and Girls Volleyball Coach Lester Lim, a good captain must “understand their teammates, communicate well, and have working knowledge of the sport.”

In a way, a captain is the extension of the coaching staff. They can identify areas of improvement and implement them in live competitions. Coach Lim also emphasized the importance of leadership, mentioning it as one of the requirements. Identifying a player with leadership qualities gives them a greater likelihood of earning the role.

Having many years of experience coaching different sports and age groups, there is not much of a difference in becoming a captain, because in the end, the captain needs to be the leader, in the classroom, in practice, and in the heat of the game competition.

Different coaches bring unique perspectives on the process of selecting captains and their expectations for them.

“I like to allow the captain the freedom to lead the team in a way that best suits them, but also try to give guidance when needed depending on the circumstance. I feel that giving the captain the freedom to lead in their own way and providing guidance when needed, helps to create a balance between allowing them to use their strengths and expertise while also ensuring that the team stays on track and performs at their best,” Head Girls Basketball Coach Bryan Puller said. “I also feel it’s important to have open communication and trust between the captain and the rest of the team to ensure that everyone is aligned and working towards the same goal.”

This perspective allows the team to fill its own dynamic and create a personalized style that fits the team to perform at its best. Each captain can lead the team to its peak performance and set a standard for the future.

Girls Basketball senior captain Inika Singh truly loves the game of basketball. She has been a constant the last few years, helping her teammates improve their abilities in shooting, dribbling, and passing. Even though her influence is felt in her teammates’ skill development, she feels her strongest attribute is providing the right motivation.

“I motivate my teammates to play their best and offer my game tips, this also includes individual drills and practices for players in what they can improve on,” Singh said.


Varsity Boys senior captain Sawyer Smith believes that the selection of captains has shifted, due to changing coaches.

“In the past, captains felt more based on seniority but with Coach Williams, he has chosen captains based on skill. Which I have found better for the team,” Smith said.

This mindset, one that focuses on skill, determination, and leadership led to the selection of freshman guard Joshua Kim earning the role of captain.

Senior opposite hitter Bryan Yu is eagerly anticipating his senior volleyball season, which is right around the corner. For Yu, there is a key mental component that distinguishes strong captains.

“Beyond just being strong and physically capable, captains should have a strong mental drive to be able to succeed and want to win each game,” Yu said. “A captain does not detract energy from the team, but instead is one of the leaders that provides the motivation and support for other team members to succeed.”

The Boy’s volleyball team will usher in two new captains this season, as both graduated last summer. Despite new leadership, sophomore outside hitter Aric Mar isn’t too worried about the impact it will have on the team.

“I don’t believe that the dynamic of the team will change since there are players with club experience outside of school and last year that was not much of an establishment from the captains,” Mar said.

Though captains set different standards and lead the team differently, it is up to the team to build the energy and support each other. For multi-sport athletes, like sophomore guard Amber Tsang, who also is on the swim team, the means and methods might differ slightly, but the expectations remain the same.

“The captains in the past have met my expectations, they have set a good example and have been there for me when I needed help with something,” Tsang said.

Everyone may not get the opportunity to serve their teammates in the role of captain, but it should not stop them from contributing their knowledge and advice on improving their game because in the end, being on the team is a privilege and offers everyone leadership opportunities. Captains should add that extra touch and value that each team needs to succeed, but it requires a collective effort – coaches and players – to reach their team’s goals.

cca sports captain 2024

Mrs. Marsheck is in charge of public relations, marketing, community development, and fundraising for CCA.