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What Coaches Think of Their Team Captains.
by Jeff Janssen, M.S.
Janssen Peak Performance

What kind of leadership do you have on your team this year? Are your leaders prepared to effectively lead your team both on and off the court?

Coaches across the U.S. were recently surveyed to find out how their thoughts on team captains. The results of this study show that team captains are some of the most important, yet least prepared people on your team.

How Important are Team Captains?

Nearly unanimous, coaches believe that team captains/leaders are pivotal to a program's success. Coaches realize that team captains have a strong influence on so many factors, especially competitive success.

98% of coaches believe being a team captain/leader is an important job
98% of coaches also believe an effective team captain can positively impact win/loss records

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How Effective are Today's Team Captains?

Just over half of coaches believe that today's team captains are not as effective as they were years ago. Roughly one quarter of coaches believe today's captains are about the same and another quarter think today's captains are more effective than they were years ago.

51% of coaches think today's captains are less effective than they were decades ago
26% of coaches think today's captains are about the same as they were decades ago
23% of coaches think today's captains are more effective than they were decades ago

Are Your Captains Prepared to Lead?

Only 37% of coaches believe their captains are prepared to handle the responsibilities and challenges of leadership. The remaining 63% of coaches are either unsure or convinced that their captains are not prepared to lead.

43% of coaches believe their captains are not prepared to handle the challenges of leadership
37% of captains believe their captains are prepared to handle the challenges of leadership
20% of coaches are unsure if their captains are prepared to handle the challenges of leadership

Do Your Captains have the Courage to Confront?

Less than half of the coaches surveyed believe that their captains will confront their teammates in three important areas: adhering to team rules, working hard, and respecting coaches.

47% of coaches report their captains will confront teammates when they break team rules
39% of coaches report their captains will confront teammates when they aren't working hard
33% of coaches report their captains will confront teammates when they criticize the coaches

How Much Leadership Training Does your School Provide?

Presently, the majority of colleges and high schools sponsor no formal leadership training for their student-athlete leaders. Only 11% of schools provide substantive leadership programming at least 3 hours or longer.

73% of coaches report their schools provide no leadership training for their captains
16% of coaches report their schools provide 1-2 hours of leadership training
11% of coaches report their schools provide 3+ hours of leadership training

How Much Leadership Training Do You Provide as a Coach?

An encouraging finding was that 86% of coaches surveyed report providing some kind of formal leadership training for their team captains. Further, half of coaches report providing at least 3 or more hours of leadership training.

14% of coaches report providing no leadership training
36% of coaches report providing 1-2 hours of leadership training
50% of coaches report providing 3+ hours of leadership training

What Resources Do You Use to Train Your Leaders?

The majority of coaches surveyed combine their own insights and experience with ideas from The Team Captain's Leadership Manual to develop their leaders.

75% of coaches use their own ideas and experience
57% of coaches use The Team Captain's Leadership Manual
19% of coaches use books by John Maxwell

Survey Summary

The overall results of this survey reinforce the fact that coaches believe effective team captains/leaders are a critical part of a successful athletic program - both on and off the field/court.

Yet, while effective leaders are seen as important, the majority of coaches feel their captains are unprepared to lead. The area where captains need the most help is constructive confrontation, or the Enforcer role as we call it.

Too many captains would rather let standards slip, rules be broken, and coaches be bashed rather than stepping up and confronting the issue. This lack of leadership from your captains should be a major cause of concern for you because it insidiously erodes your team structure from within.

Other than a minority of enlightened colleges and high schools, little is being done to train student-athletes to be more effective leaders by schools. It is certainly encouraging that many coaches are attempting to train leaders on their own.

With these results and those from other surveys as well as the countless conversations I've had with team captains, coaches, and athletic administrators, we recently launched a new resource that addresses these concerns and take leadership training to a whole new level.

For more information, please visit the new online resource for emerging and existing team leaders at the http://www.TeamCaptainsNetwork.com website.

Mention you saw this article on PowerBasketball and we'll provide you with a Free, All-Access Pass for 10 days.


CONTACT INFORMATION:

Janssen Peak Performance, Inc.
Mailing Address: 102 Horne Creek Court Cary, NC 27519
1-888-721-TEAM (toll free in U.S.)
(919) 303-5321 (phone)
(919) 303-4338 (fax)
Email:jeff@jeffjansen.com

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