Traits Of A Successful Tennis Team Captain
by Joannah Martin
Some teams just have it together. Week after week, they bound onto the courts in matching uniforms, and then bound off to lunch with winning smiles. Then other teams arrive disheveled, in dribs and drabs and race to their personal vehicles after the match, sometimes not even staying to cheer on the remaining courts. Transform your team today by incorporating these six traits of successful captains.
Successful team captains: Are passionate
In order to succeed, a team captain must be passionate about tennis. In addition to preparing line-ups, captains are also expected to motivate their team. Many team captains relentlessly organize team practices, study line-ups and mentor new members of their team. Team practices are very important in order to try new partnerships and a good captain will consider the advice of their pro but at the same time recognize that not everyone plays as fierce in practice as they do in a match.
Successful team captains: Listen well
A great team captain will take the time to listen and consider all sides of issues. They avoid the trap of listening to a select few and gossiping with others. Many players will go to their captain if they find that a teammate may have been nasty to their opponents or in some cases their partner during a match and may not want to play with that person again. When feelings and opinions are confided to a captain, they should be considered and kept to themselves or they will have a scuttlebutt. Let’s face it; whenever you put as many as sixteen women together for anything, you are going to have some sort of gossip, rumors and sometimes players being rude to one another. A successful captain will make sure they put a stop to it immediately but diplomatically.
Successful team captains: Communicate and Communicate
Being a team captain is never easy, but a little communication can go a long way. It is a skill to walk the line of being a good listener but not letting a player dictate how things will be done. A captain has to remind themselves that they cannot make everyone happy. By having a good communication going with your players they will be abreast of any happenings and changes that may take place with the team. For most players, they simply want to feel heard and understood even if the outcome does not go their way. It is sort of like that favorite teacher you had that made you feel that you were her best student when the fact is; she liked all of you equally. Making sure that you have a goal for the team and you have communicated what that goal is can be very effective in motivating your players and will make them stronger as a team.
A Successful Team Captain: Never Leaves Anyone Out
Sometimes players, especially those that are new to a team that may have had the same group of ladies together for a long time, may find it hard to fit in. A kind captain will make sure to include every player in all team events such as lunch, team parties, trips and any changes that may be happening. This is where it is important to have a team that is motivated to reach a goal by attending weekly clinics and in some cases, getting together on another day to play. If your team never does clinic or lunch it can difficult for a new player to get to know their teammates and the fun is lost for them.
Successful captains understand that the players on their team are the team’s greatest asset. It is crucial that they understand a team should be a solid circle with no one being inside or out. Perhaps most importantly, successful team captains always remember tennis is a game, and we play for fun.