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Why Youth Sport Teams Should Integrate Captains At A Young Age?

Being a team captain is not easy but it is a vital part of building a winning team with a winning culture.

Have you ever heard of Derek Jeter, Michael Jordan,  Wayne Gretsky,  Alex Morgan, or Sue Bird? These are some of the most famous names in sports history that fans and players have looked up to for years. All of these phenomenal athletes who have or continue to play at the top of their game. And they have more than just all-star credibility. They have leadership and role model qualities that are important on and off the field. 

team captains

What makes a good captain and why are they important?

The role of a team captain is to represent, lead, and support your team fairly. The captains are models for your competitive team and organization. There’s not a single good reason in sports to not have a captain or two leading your team. A lot of youth sports managers and coaches may think that their players are too young. 

Why have a captain? 

Why would my team of seven year old soccer players need a team captain? It’s important to develop a sense of leadership and confidence in children at a young age.  Young children learning how to communicate effectively on and off the field can be important in a player’s development. Having team captains at a young age can also develop independence which allows kids to grow by themselves without someone constantly holding their hand. Children love to be given tasks that they see adults do so if they’re leading their team in stretching can boost their morale. 

Qualities of a Good Team Captain

There are many qualities that add to becoming a good team captain. Some of these include being a strong player, a hard worker, respectful, trustworthy, and competitive. There’s a stigma around being team captain that involves being the best player on your team, but just because you have the athletic skills doesn’t mean you have the qualities to lead your team. 

Coaches should have the responsibility of picking out athletes to lead the team in warm-ups or tossing the coin to pick what side of the field they want to start on. I think it’s important that a coach picks the captains so kids don’t turn the process into a popularity contest and feel excluded because that can create unwanted tension between players.


I know as a kid and even an adult, authority figures can be intimidating. Having a team captain can be an important resource for players on your team because it gives kids a way to express their concerns or frustrations with a teammate before going directly to their coach. Captains can act as the middleman between coaches and players if their teammates need it.

Captains are so important for youth teams. They experience new leadership qualities which can benefit a team in multiple different ways. 

About author Sara Puskar

I am currently a Division I Track and Field athlete at Binghamton University in New York. I’m working towards a BA in Political Science (Concentrating in International Affairs) and a minor in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. I enjoy creating content for Tik Tok and social media through my internship with our Public Relations Department at college. iSport360 is helping me learn more about social media and marketing while allowing me to create blog posts that surround educating athletes and my personal experiences from youth sport participation, success, and performance. 

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July 20, 2022

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