Being a good team player is one thing, but being a great soccer team captain is another. Very few players will have this golden opportunity in taking up such an important leadership role. However, if you are fortunate to take up the role of a team captain, then you will need to be a good leader for your teammates; this is both during soccer training and off the field.
There are different types of leaders present. However, the best are those that lead by example; they communicate well and when such a leader gives you a compliment you feel stronger and taller. If this is the kind of leader you are hoping to be, then read on to find out how to train and develop yourself to be a great soccer captain.
1. Lead by example
Leading by example is a key point in developing yourself for the leadership role. If your teammates see that you are positive and always working hard, they will follow suit and look up to you for the proper guidance. Some of the ways you can show your efforts to your teammates is; do not jog at a time you are meant to be running and try not giving up along the way. If you slack off, or you give less effort in the game it is a sign that they also do not need to try as hard.
2. Motivate your teammates
You need to ensure you are encouraging and positive when your teammates mess up. In the event a teammate makes a mistake, try and be the first to encourage him, you could tell him keep your head up. I mean we all mess up, assure him that the team still trusts him and gets back on the defense. Avoid yelling at your teammates when they mess up. As this will cause them to play the game while scared, this will cause them to make more mistakes in the game, something that you do not want.
3. Be confident
They said that mental state is contagious. A positive leader can instil positive mindset to his followers, while a negative-thinking person will spread his negativity, especially if you’re he captain. However, it is important that you understand these two concepts, being cocky and being confident. You need to be confident and refrain from being cocky towards teammates. When playing try and pass on the credit to your teammates. An example is, you score a fantastic goal, do not take all the credit because it took a team effort to get the goal. Appreciate your effort but do not forget your teammates.
4. Treat your teammates with respect
You are to lead by example but how do you make your teammates follow your lead? Well, its simple treat them with respect, you need to ensure you are the kind of individual they would want to follow. Ensure you are the first to stop gossip and rumors from the media, and look for ways you can keep your teammates encouraged at all times. You will need to be more familiar with your teammates if you are to keep them encouraged. The reason being, not every person will respond to motivation the same way, so you will need to identify the best ways you can keep each motivated.
5. Take the big step
Take charge even without the coach; the coach is definitely in charge of the team, but there is no way he can be everywhere at once. Therefore, he will need your help. If you notice an individual needs help, offer the help rather than waiting for the coach to notice him. Additionally, if the time for soccer training has started and the coach is still preoccupied, set up a drill or some stretches to ensure the team is doing something productive.
6. Communicate with the officials and referee
According to FIFA’s Laws of the Game, a captain has no special status or privileges on the field, but he does a responsibility for the behavior of his team. If the referee has concerns about the behavior of your team or your teammate, he will often call you over to express his opinions. The captain is the team’s figurehead on the field, so it is your job to pass on the words of the referee to your players, making sure they listen to and obey his instructions
7. Communicate with your teammates
I personally find crystal clear communication is a major factor in the success of a team. Hence, someone that to take the initiative to ensure that everyone in the team knows their duty and roles on the field, that someone is the captain. A captain should be the amplifier to the manager’s instructions
8. Know your team’s tactics
The coach can change the team’s tactics as he pleases to ensure they come up on top in the match. You, the captain should ensure you fully understand the strategy planned out and execute it to perfection with your teammates on the field.
9. Stay composed
Captains have to be composed and mentally strong throughout every soccer match. If they aren’t, then there’s a good chance that the entire team will lose their composure every time something doesn’t go their way. If your team is down 0-1, don’t be the one showing nervousness and emotions. Be a more composed soccer player and it will spread to the rest of the team.
10. Be all you can
We naturally expect leaders to be more than us, I guess that’s why they are elected as leaders or captains. Knowing this natural expectation, you should be all you can be during on or even off the pitch. You know your duties and responsibilities is crucial but executing them is paramount.
After reading the ten tips above, you may have started to feel the pressure being a captain. If you now have second thoughts if you truly want to be the head of the pack of your team, you should also look at the rewards that comes with the responsibilities. Being the first to lift your team’s trophy, being the one accountable to your team’s cohesion performance and victory and being the one that your fans just naturally look up to. John Terry (Chelsea FC) and Carlos Puyol (FC Barcelona) know these better than anyone else.