Open main menu

Wikipedia β

Steven Gerrard, former captain of Liverpool F.C. and England.
Saku Koivu, former captain of the Montreal Canadiens.

In team sports, captain is a title given to a member of the team. The title is frequently honorary, but in some cases the captain may have significant responsibility for strategy and teamwork while the game is in progress on the field. In either case, it is a position that indicates honor and respect from one's teammates – recognition as a leader by one's peers. In association football and cricket, a captain is also known as a skipper.

Depending on the sport, team captains may be given the responsibility of interacting with game officials regarding application and interpretation of the rules. In many team sports, the captains represent their respective teams when the match official does the coin toss at the beginning of the game.

Various sports have differing roles and responsibilities for team captains.


The Three C's of Being a CaptainEdit

A captain of a sports team goes further than just the label. The captain is given certain responsibilities, tasks, and has to represent themselves as a role model. Within this is the theory of "The Three C's of Being a Captain"[1] provided by the Association for Applied Sport Psychology ( According to this article, being a captain is an honorary position that needs to uphold three valuable characteristics, caring, courageous, and consistent. A captain must always show the care s/he has for the sport, the coaching staff, and the team. This provides the team with a role model to show the passion behind the sport, the real reason why this player began playing the sport, the love for the game. Being courageous brings out the cockiness needed for a captain, to show the opposing team that s/he is not afraid for the outcome of the game. As a captain being courageous includes setting high goals for the team, and not being afraid to reach these goals. Most importantly a captain must be consistent within their sport. Consistency includes performance, always being on time, sticking with your goals, and keeping your team in check. A consistent player is exactly what a coach looks for in a captain. In addition to the three C's, a fourth C can be earned, credibility. Credibility is a characteristic that can be found within a captain who has stayed caring, courageous, and consistent throughout a period of time.

Captains in HistoryEdit

Some of the greatest captains in history are the ones with the most subtle of traits that are required for success. From Sam Walker in his book "The Captain Class" he states that a captain is "the most important factor for a team's success".[2] Some of the most well known captains in history are the ones that can be thanked for that championship game, that banner, and that ring. Yogi Berra[3], an unofficial captain for the New York Yankees, helped to make history by contributing to the five consecutive World Series Titles from 1949-1953. Berra was a starting catcher played 19 seasons in Major League Baseball, 18 of them with the Yankees. Yogi Berra was considered to be the worst catcher in the MLB, but later was known as the best after an intense training program. His perseverance provided him with the reputation he is still known for today, and that is what being a captain is all about. Another example of the greatest captains in sports history is Tom Brady.[4] Tom Brady is a five time Super Bowl winning quarterback for the New England Patriots. The National Football League recognized him as a Super Bowl MVP three times in his career, 2nd highest in NFL history. Brady began his football career at The University of Michigan, which led him to the sixth round pick of the 2000 NFL draft. He began his career with the New England Patriots as a back-up quarterback, but when their starting quarterback was injured, it was Brady's time to shine. This lead the New England Patriots to see how well Brady performs, as well as his team leadership skills while running his offense. Tom Brady has shown vital leadership skills and has stayed consistent within his 17 seasons in the NFL. Tom Brady has also has been known to wine sometimes bringing his captaincy under question by those outside of the fans of the Patriots.

Responsibilities of a CaptainEdit

The responsibilities of a Captain vary from sport to sport, but overall help determine the game. In sports like football, or volleyball the decision for the two teams to be on either defense or offense is determined with a coin toss and a decision made by the captains. This decision is crucial for the captain because they will decide the beginning of the game and quite possibly how it all plays out. Sports like baseball however, decides the team playing at home will be on offense first. A captain is also the first one a referee looks to while explaining the results of a play or giving a foul, or flag. Often times a referee will not discuss these matters with any other player than a captain or a coach. This is important because the reaction of the captain may or may not determine how the referee will proceed. A captain must stay calm and cool headed when talking with a referee to ensure the most accurare determinants of the game.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Association for Applied Sport Psychology: The 3 C's of Being a Captain". Retrieved 2018-05-01. 
  2. ^ "Forget charisma and skill — the captains of the best teams in sports history shared 7 subtle traits". Business Insider. Retrieved 2018-05-01. 
  3. ^ "Yogi Berra". Wikipedia. 2018-04-30. 
  4. ^ "Tom Brady". Wikipedia. 2018-05-01.