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Last updated
04-19-14 05:41 PM
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Velocity Soccer Club
26 Vera Street
Portland, Maine




The following are some of the characteristics that successful leaders share.

A player…

Must have a vision of where he/she is going. Leaders have an innate ability to see the big picture in athletics and in life.

Is not enticed by short-term success at the expense of long-term happiness. In these days of instant gratification, leaders who keep goals in sight will sacrifice short-term success in order to build a successful organization that properly serves its customers.

Is willing to put in the time necessary to be successful. When Michael Jordan was the king of hoops, everyone wanted to “be like Mike.” Most leaders (players) seek the fame that comes with playing well, but few have any clue as to the hard work that Jordan put in behind the scenes. In life, the successful leader has put in the time at various levels and is always the first one into the proverbial trenches. Leaders have paid their dues and lead by example.

Works harder than his/her teammates and is not afraid to fail. Most successful athletes will tell you they have failed many times. Those still playing have learned from these failures and improved as players.

Helps teammates do their jobs better. A good leader (player) makes the people around them better. It is easy to blame a team’s lack of success on the coach, players, referees, fields, etc. It is far harder to take a team that is struggling and improve its performance through player management and education. Too many players are good when the team is playing well but disappear when it is not. Leaders must rise up in difficult times.

Takes the time to share responsibility and encourages others. People are interdependent on each other’s skills, capacities, unique talents and resources. In order to develop decision makers, a confident leader delegates authority and lets his/her people make mistakes in order to teach them. He/she also bonds those people with common interests to a common goal. The leader helps each person develop to his/her fullest potential, realizing that this potential also will cause them one day to leave the nest to fulfill their dreams.

Stands for principles and backs their teammates. Successful leaders must be strong enough to stand up for what is right at the expense of not being popular. They must have strong moral convictions and faith that their knowledge in player management and ideals will not be compromised.

How to Be a Great Soccer Captain

By Andrea Smith

As with any team, a soccer team needs a player who can lead both on and off the field for that team to be successful. This is the job of the team captain. A good team captain must command the respect of his fellow players, listen to coaches and completely know every single play and formation. The captain must also be able to pick up his teammates as well as kick them in the rear when it's necessary.

1. Lead the team in all practice and workout sessions. If the captain appears to be disinterested in training, you can't expect the players to feel any differently. A soccer captain should be the first one on and last one off the field during practice. She should make sure that every player sticks to the workout and diet. If a player is out of shape or not prepared, the captain must be ready to call her teammate out and, if need be, go to the coach about the situation.

2. Communicate with players throughout the game. It's important for the team that players call out passes, defensive scenarios and other game situations to one another. The captain should be the leader in this, scanning the field and yelling out anything he notices to his teammates. During a stoppage in play, the captain should try to communicate with one or two of the players closest to him about the game situation. Simply put, a soccer captain's voice should be as sore as his body after a game.

3. Talk to the refs about fouls and keep your players from doing so. Soccer officials will be quick to give a card to a player mouthing off. It is the captain's job to step in and pull her player away regardless of whether or not the teammate was right to argue. It's also the captain's job to speak to officials, even if she wasn't directly involved in the play. Remember to speak with the refs in a polite and respectful manner, though, since you do not want to get a card.

4. Know your place out on the pitch. The captain of a soccer team is often not the best player on the team. Just because you're the captain doesn't mean that you should attempt to play a ball that could have easily been handled by a teammate. At the same time, a captain needs to know when he must carry his team on his shoulders. A true team captain must be able to read every game scenario possible and must also know what to do to help propel his team to better play out on the pitch.

5. Look and listen for the coach during the game. This is especially important during stoppages in play. The coach may notice something that needs to be altered or may want to change the team formation. As the captain, it's up to you to notice the coach and to make any adjustments he wishes to make. A captain should also greet any new players that enter the game. This is good for more than just moral as that player may have a message to deliver from the coach.

Notes for Being a Good Captain

What Is Leadership

• Leadership is action.
• Leaders focus on things that need to be done and do them.
• Leaders do not shy away from challenges or responsibility.
• Leaders go the extra mile for their team, doing more than expected.
• Leaders take chances and take action

Why Have Captains?

Teams with strong leadership have a decided advantage

All it takes is one person who is committed, focused and on a mission to spark an entire team into believing in themselves.


Leadership is not a position that someone gives you; it is ultimately a privilege that you must earn and maintain.

Coaches Expectations

• Lead in practices and games
• Set mental and emotional tone of the team
• Keep coaches informed about team issues
• Provide input on team decisions
• Talk to struggling teammates
• Handle conflicts within the team
• Plan team activities
• Be loyal to the coaches and support their decisions

Teammates Expectations

• Be spokesperson for the team
• Be fair
• Be a good listener
• Keep it confidential

Understanding What Prevents You From Becoming A Good Leader
• Insecurity
• Fear of rejection
• Fear of failure
• Not being prepared
• Moodiness and drama
• Lack of motivation
• Criticism
• Stubbornness
• Prideful


Putting The Team First

• Be first to serve and last to be served
• Be first to arrive at practice and last to leave
• Create a climate of privilege to serve
• Never let your own ego get in the way

Leader By Example

• Be first to lead by example and last to violate team standards
• Display the behavior that you want from your teammates
• Be an example of attitude – “Understand and model the core covenants of the team.  Be   aggressive, enthusiastic, confident, disciplined and compete fearlessly.  Be intelligent enough to listen and develop the ability to work and learn.  Have faith in the people you are working with, don’t let your teammates down and always put the team ahead of yourself.  Maintain integrity and your sense of humor.”
• Be an example of poise
• Be an example of a teachable spirit
• Be an example of work ethics of the team
• Be an example of excellence
• Be an example of accountability
• Be an example of initiative
• Be respectful of teammates, coaches, and officials


• Be the first to encourage and the last to be discouraged
• Be a confident-builder
• Develop a relationship with each team player.  Get to know them and their personalities
• Assess each player for a better understanding on how to motivate them. (Teammate mental assessment form enclosed)
• Remind them of their strengths
• Give them permission to make mistakes.  Explain that they are learning. 
• Encourage by being mentally tough – leaders who want their teams to be mentally tough must be mentally tough themselves. They must be willing to accept and deal with challenges, to look at mistakes as learning tools. Do not let your spirit be broken.
• Encourage by being motivated yourself – Walk into practice excited and ready to go
• Encourage by keeping things in perspective – Learn to only worry about things that are in your control (your attitude, effort, preparation)
• Encourage by being positive – Teams move toward positive behavior.  Stay away from the cynical attitude and self-pity.
• Learn to take the negative and turn it into a positive.
• Help teammates accept their role
• Emphasize that every role is important

Team Builder

• Be first to protect and defend and last to criticize
• Protect and defend by being loyal to your coaches and teammates
• Welcome new people to the team
• Bring out the best in others

• Be first to confront violations of team standards and be last to ignore problems
• More encouraging leads to less enforcing
• See how to handle conflict


• Often teammates need someone to talk to.
• Listen for understanding 
• Listen; do not judge
• Listen; do not offer advise unless asked
• Listen; keep information confidential
• Listen; do not take sides

Keeping Team Positive

• Be the first to praise others and the last to brag or draw attention to yourself
• Have them focus on the message, not the messenger
• Show appreciation with awards

Having Fun

• Develop a team motto to start and finish practice
• Play team bonding games
• Develop different drills to develop skills
• Plan team activities
• Make rewards for teammates
• Bring in treats
• Post motivational signs
• Take photos: post and give copies to teammate


The Team Captain’s Leadership Manual, Jeff Janssen

Captains – 7 Ways to Lead Your Team , Bruce Brown

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Velocity SC 00/01 Girls
Velocity SC 00/01 Girls

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