Sports Captains Strive to Create Camaraderie

Erik Judy, News Editor

As the team takes the field, they’re blinded by the glaring stadium lights and deafened by the roar of the crowd. Adrenaline and nervousness course through them. But leading them into their competition is the team’s steadying force—the glue that holds them together—their captain.

Oftentimes chosen by their teammates, and entrusted with keeping the team on track in the most important moments, high school captains hold an essential role on a sports team. 

Effective captains strive to motivate their teammates to be the best they can be. “A good captain always gets the team hyped up, and always helps anyone, no matter the circumstance,” said co-swim team captain Aidan Grady (12). Methods of doing this often include giving motivational speeches, complete with yelling and inspirational messages, as well as leading team cheers.

During the pandemic, captains in teamwork-centric sports have struggled to build enthusiasm on their squads. “I would say that people aren’t as excited or motivated to work on themselves because there was such a small payoff during the season, which was already shortened in the first place,” said field hockey captain Madeline Wendrowski (12). 

To cope with all of the added stress, many captains have placed an added emphasis on building connections between team members. “Most of our team bonding was through GroupMe, using jokes about mask tan selfies to bring us closer together,” said Madeline.

In more individualized sports, such as swimming or track, the role of the captain slightly differs. There is much more of an emphasis on leading by example, as outside of winning their own events, captains can’t assist others in their races. “The trust the team puts in me pushes me to work harder and be stronger because you want to set a good example for the team and show them the rights and wrongs,” said Aidan. 

Several captains emphasized the importance of showing dedication to their sport during practices as well. They shared examples such as showing up early to practice and always putting full effort into their workouts in order to inspire their teammates.

But of all their responsibilities, mentorship was one that many captains focused on the most. “I look at my younger teammates as the future of the team,” said Aidan. “Being a captain means showing them the right way.”