Sports Captains Share Thoughts on Leadership Roles

sports captainsMaddy Batt and Bibi Lichauco

Have you ever thought of being a captain of a Winsor team? Many Winsor athletes have; however, very few truly understand what this leadership position really means. Delancey King ’14, co-captain of varsity soccer, recalled learning the importance of helping her teammates realize that mistakes are acceptable and inevitable. “It is crucial to maintain a positive environment where kids feel comfortable trying new things and making mistakes,” King remarked, “because that is the only way any of us can get better.” Additionally, one of the varsity field hockey captains, Sarah Prickett ’13, remembered the various advantages of setting goals. To Prickett, a goal like winning first place in the league “requires the team to plan each step of the way, to work toward improving skills and teamwork in order to win crucial games.”

While duties such as sending out reminders, organizing equipment, or, most vitally, ordering apparel are relatively straightforward, a captain’s more complex responsibilities are perhaps what differentiates a good captain from a great one. As Lena Afeyan ’13, co-captain of crew, noted, “It is the responsibility of the captains to set a precedent for the team through their hard work and to personally see to it that each rower develops over the season and feels like a part of the team.” The best sports teams feel and function like a family; practice is fun, your teammates are your friends, and everyone can rely on each other for motivation and support both on and off the field.

The captain’s actions and role in the team do not go unnoticed. Anshi Moreno ’15 said, “The best kind of captain is the one who keeps the team excited, happy, and is every player’s best friend. They know how to have fun and still lead the team by example.” However, leading a team is challenging. Afeyan mentions that the hardest part about being captain is “balancing letting people learn lessons on their own and trying to help them if they are struggling with something.” Likewise, King finds it difficult to “always put the team before myself. If I’m having a rough day, I can’t show up to practice with a bad attitude.”
Despite the challenges, our captains lead us to new heights every week. For co-captain of cross country Hannah McGrath ’13, the hard work that goes into being a captain pays off. “The best part about being a captain is motivating the team before a race or hard workout,” McGrath reflects. “We’ve run some hard workouts and races, and seeing how everyone runs through them makes it all worth it.” Thanks to our captains, our sports teams are fun, successful, and one of the best parts of life as a Winsor student.