At Juniata College, our teams’ captains have a crucial leadership role, a role that cements the relationship between the coach and the team.  It is an extremely important responsibility.

Captains are responsible for completing evaluations and returning them to the athletic director (or head football coach).

Captains should develop an awareness of team needs and individual player needs.  Help the coaching staff coach identify areas of concern.

Captains should maintain an open ear for teammates.  Be approachable.  Listen to teammates and facilitate communication between team and coaching staff.

Captains must report team concerns to the coaching staff and vice versa.

Captains will ideally work to optimize cohesion by trying to include all players in team activities.

Captains should extend their own level of commitment to the rest of the team.  Avoid putting coaches in the difficult position of trying to motivate players to do something they have already committed themselves to do.

Captains help their team understand the concept of putting team results ahead of individual status.  Be prepared to help teammates buy into their roles. 

Captains talk to the officials in a professional manner, never “showing up” any official in any circumstance.  Help teammates eliminate any “punk” reputations with officials.

Captains help players understand the fine line between good sportsmanship and un-sportsmanlike conduct.   Be a class act and then lead by example.

Captains should resign this responsibility if they are hesitant to accept a difficult job.  Leadership is action, not position.  As Mr. Parker advised Peter, “With great power comes great responsibility”.

Captains must be role models concerning the following:

  • Be on time, always.
  • Work hand-in-hand with training room, equipment and strength staffs.
  • Maintain a positive attitude while at the same time helping teammates cope with athletic, academic and social life at Juniata College.
  • Take initiative. Think constantly, what can I do for my team today?
  • Watch for academic, athletic and social “red flags” within the team. Expect individual and team crisis and then help coaches to creatively solve these problems.
  • Develop a plan. Establish a personal mission. Maintain a lifestyle that reflects the pursuit of this mission. Do not say that you want to be a champion and then exhibit irresponsible, questionable or unhealthy behaviors in your social, athletic and academic lives.
  • Learn the line of wisdom with regard to right behaviors.  Certainly, every social situation, especially on college campuses, is filled with difficult choices.  The decision to behave in a particular fashion may be acceptable in one circumstance but unwise in another.  Associate with the right people, confront teammates who are violating team norms, constantly choose team accountability over personal popularity, and collaborate with the coaching staff to properly manage the team in the pursuit of the teams goals.