Coaches, athletes should both have voice electing captains


Ella Bloomingdale '20

Picking captains for any sports team can be a controversial decision, so teammates and coaches should adjust their style of picking to offer a fair end result.

Ella Bloomingdale '20, Assistant Business Manager

A team sports captain should be responsible, organized, supportive and knowledgeable. They should be able to support and encourage the team while also having the ability to organize and bring athletes together when it is necessary.

At Staples High School, a common way of selecting captains is through the head coach, who often selects the captains without the team’s input. While this is an understandable method of selection, it may not always be the most suitable option. On the other hand, if the captain is selected by the entire team, the vote could become a popularity contest, depriving the most deserving players from the opportunity to lead their team. There are both positives and downsides to both methods of selection.

If the coach is picking a captain, it may not be a good fit for the players themselves. While a coach may tend to pick a captain who shows commitment, skill and responsibility, they may not necessarily be a well liked or respected player among the team. If the captains lacks authority, the ability to control the team with leadership skills or even a friendly and approachable persona, the captain will be ineffective as the players will most likely not listen.

On the other hand, a voting system between players has its own negative repercussions. When players are voting, they are most likely going to vote for their friend, or someone on the team who is overall well liked. While this candidate will most likely be approachable by the players, the captain might be lacking other important traits. In other words, teammates might choose the most likable teammate rather than the player who is most deserving or well suited for the position.

I think that the most efficient choice is a system where the coach selects a few candidates of who they think best fit, and from there, the players of the team vote on the designated nominees. 

With this, both sides are represented. The coach will pick someone who they see is committed and has the qualities of a good captain, and the team from there will be able to assess and vote on someone who they can approach and be comfortable with as their captain. 

Being on the Staples girls’ field hockey team, our system of selecting captains this year was similar to this. The entire team was brought together and we were told the qualities of a good captain, and from there we did a secret vote for one person who we thought should fill this position. After my coach saw our votes, he put that into account when making his final decision. I think that this was very effective to base it off of the two captains selected for next year. While we all voted for someone we believed should be captain, and our voice was heard, our coach also implemented his opinion of a good captain while making his final decision. 

Overall, based on personal experience and looking into what both sides factor in when picking someone to be captain, I think my proposed system is the best solution.