What are the qualities of a good school captain?

What are the qualities of a good school captain? Every team strives to be successful while competing, but what school captain qualities set extraordinary teams from average ones?

In a Forbes interview with Sam Walker, author of The Captain Class: The Hidden Force That Creates The World’s Greatest Teams, Walker discusses the common traits notable team captains have, many which can translate into school captain leadership qualities, and the ways in which they lead their team members. Walker says that after objectively studying the 16 best teams in sports history, across a variety of sports from the National Football League to Olympic water polo, “enduring greatness begins with the player who’s chosen to lead the team.”

School Captain Leadership Qualities | Qualities of A Good School Captain | Leaders of Evolution


While sports fans might think qualities of a good school captain are characterized by their strength, physical capabilities or even public speaking, school captain leadership qualities are much more subtle than that. And while these qualifications can be translated to younger athletes as well, what are the qualities of a good school captain? How can Leaders of Evolution help students gain school captain leadership qualities?

School Captain Leadership Qualities

  • Grit: These team captains held emotional and mental strength even during tough competition. Maintaining grit, one of many qualities of a good school captain, is important as many of your team members look up to you not just for talent and athletic abilities, but a persistent and mentally strong attitude. Grit is one of the defining qualities of a good school captain, and one that is focused on heavily at Leaders of Evolution. 
  • Intrapersonal control: Having strong intrapersonal intelligence, or knowing your own emotions and how to grapple with them in difficult times, takes self-awareness and self-reflection. Many of the school captain qualities that build strong leaders take discipline and practice. Before you can lead those around you, you should first be in tune with your inner feelings, values, beliefs and thinking processes. This makes it easier to have emotional control during heavy competition.
  • Leads by example: Anyone is capable of telling what their team members to do. A real leader works with them and fulfils unglamorous duties like filling up and carrying water for teammates to showcase they are all in this together. Although well-known qualities of a good school captain don’t tend to emphasize Leading by example and not being afraid to do the tough work means taking initiative, even in the little things. 
  • Team advocates: Being a team advocate means putting your colleagues first. Even when faced with authority, if you feel like your teammates’ interests are not being met, you as a leader should fight with and for them at all times. This means building strong interpersonal relationships with them in order to know their needs and wants and have open communication at all times. 

The qualities of a good school captain require discipline and a lot of practice. The good news is, the qualities of a good school captain also shape the framework for a lot of the courses at Leaders of Evolution. Like Walker mentioned in his interview, the school captain qualities required “motivat[ed] their teammates with low-key, task-oriented communication and in tough moments, through powerful nonverbal displays of emotion.” 

This does not mean you need to be born with exceptional strength or athletic abilities to have the qualities of a good school captain. Instead, you should focus on school captain qualities that can translate to being a better professional and leader in your everyday life. 

Leaders of Evolution’s Emerging Leaders in Sport

Leaders of Evolution has a variety of e-learning courses that encourage leadership development both on and off of the field. The Emerging Leaders in Sports e-learning course utilizes the 4 C’s as a framework for the courses, highlighting Competence, Confidence, Character and Connectedness. These 4 C’s are highlighted in each topic, allowing students to make the connection between the lesson and the qualities of a good school captain being discussed on the course. 

Because school-captain qualities can be translated on and off the field, there are two courses that can be taken through the Leaders of Evolution Emerging Leaders in Sports lesson:

  • On-field course: the on-field course is designed to provide athletes with an awareness and understanding of school captain leadership qualities required to be a positive influence on team members in the field of play.
  • Off-field course: the off-field course is designed to provide students with holistic leadership experience and recognize the importance of having the qualities of a good school captain in school, extra-curricular activities and the overall community environment. With the off-field course, young athletes will investigate where leadership takes place and how to develop the school captain leadership qualities in these various environments. 

Effective Leadership Styles and the Qualities of a Good School Captain

School Captain Leadership Qualities | Qualities of A Good School Captain | Leaders of Evolution

At Leaders of Evolution, we understand that while many great leaders have similar school captain leadership qualities, we also recognize there are different leadership styles.

Let’s look further into the various leadership styles that young athletes could gravitate towards, and the qualities of a good school captain that make these leaders so efficient. Keep in mind the school captain qualities discussed above when going through the leadership styles. 

  • Lead-by-example: These leaders are considered reliable, show up on time for practices and competition and put all of their efforts when training. The school captain qualities the lead-by-example highlights include obviously, leading by example and doing the unglamorous and rigorous work that may seem trivial, but makeut make a huge difference.
  • Strong, respected extrovert: These leaders gain the attention and respect of their teammates and know how to get peers to listen. Strong school captain leadership qualities that this extrovert cultivates include grit and team advocation. Your teammates will respect you as they see you put the needs of others before your own, and recognize the grit you have when faced with difficult and seemingly endless conflicts. 
  • Just do-ers: Some leaders, as explained by a Leaders of Evolution coach, are successful by just doing. They do everything right and are persistent in times of difficulty. Their school captain leadership qualities include grit and problem-solving. Qualities of a good school captain are largely reflective of how you react to difficult situations. Problem-solving is one of the school captain leadership qualities that will test how you lead creatively while thinking on your feet. Just do-ers are good at this. 
  • People-persons: An inevitable part of being in a group, despite working towards a common goal, is various having members with various backgrounds and perspectives. People-persons are great at seeing different perspectives and bringing people together. The qualities of a good school captain that people-persons have are strong intrapersonal control and being a team advocate. 

Click here to learn more about our Emerging Leaders in Sports courses.

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Leaders of Evolution are passionate about education. We expertly design and deliver technology enhanced e-learning courses focused on leadership, social and emotional learning, career readiness and sports coaching for students, teachers, athletes, coaches and the wider community.

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