Varsity girls lacrosse captain junior Sally Abel cranks up the volume of Taylor Swift’s newest hit and the hands of the girls on the varsity lacrosse team join together while their feet swiftly move to their traditional game day ritual.
Abel said that her role as team captain has taught her a lot about leadership.
“I think the role has truly allowed me to channel my inner beast and get my teammates ready to play and get pumped for big games,” Abel said.
Unlike previous years, where the coach selected people, this year, the new varsity lacrosse coach, Emily Hook, first talked to the girls about the role of leadership, Abel said.
“She wanted to make sure that we knew what it truly meant to have a leadership role, as well as the responsibilities that these positions held,” Abel said.
After brainstorming qualities of a leader, the coach asked each of the girls to email her the name of two people they thought to be a good fit for the role, but ultimately the coach was the one who decided, Abel said.
“I think that it is important for the coach to have the final say in who holds leadership positions on a varsity team, because they usually have the most experience with what works and what doesn’t,” Abel said.
Unlike the varsity girls lacrosse team, varsity tennis coach, Jim Landes, leaves the choosing of team captains up to the players.
“We choose by voting,” Landes said. “The only concern I have is that I want it to be a matter of leadership, not a popularity contest.”
Leadership is the most important quality that a captain can have, Landes said.
“Being a leader means setting a good example for the other players, encouraging the other players, and supplying team support,” Landes said.
The varsity tennis team captains are determined by a vote and because there were so many seniors this year, there were three captains rather than the usual one or two, Landes said.
“Some of the guys who had been on the team all four years deserved to be captains,” Landes said.
Unlike having team players vote on the captains, like the varsity tennis team, the Badminton team does not have a distinct way of choosing team captains, team captain junior Nic Lowe said.
“I was appointed captain through the respect of my peers,” Lowe said. “It was known that badminton was one of my talents so there wasn’t really a process.”
Lowe said one of his favorite parts of being captain has been the relationships he has made with his teammates.
“I’ve especially been helping the freshman because they will be leading the team in future years,” Lowe said.
Team captains are important because it gives the players someone to ask their questions or address their concerns to, Abel said.
“We basically act as a filter for coach so that she doesn’t get bombarded with questions all the time,” Abel said.
Lowe agrees with Abel in that a captain is someone who players can rely on when they do not need or feel like going to the coach for help.
“A captain is a messenger from teammates to coaches,” Lowe said.
From an adult perspective, Landes agrees with Lowe and Abel that often times it is easier for team players to talk to a peer than a coach, which is why team captains are so important.
“I think people tend to be more influenced by their peers,” Landes said. “Even with all I do in terms of coaching and talking, I’m not a peer.”
Aside from acting as an outlet for the players, the best part of being a captain is bonding the team together, Abel said.
“Creating team chemistry is really important in achieving success on the field,” Abel said.