Every team whether it is u5’s or national team has some kind of process for selecting a captain. Typically this is an arbitrary process and the actual captain is quite trivial, but players in a team find great significance to who it is.I believe that a captain needs to earn their position and that it should not simply be a popularity contest, but often with junior teams they want to pick their friend more than a good leader.
In previous years for my junior ACT volleyball teams that I have coached I have used one of two processes. Either I pick the person who deserves it most, in that they do what is asked of them and put in the extra time to do things that will help out the coaches and the team, or I let the players have a vote and decide who the captain will be. In both instances I have had various problems with the selection. Whether it is that the captain is of no help to the coaching staff and team, or that the players do not respect the person chosen and feel animosity towards them for any of a number of reasons.
This year I have decided to combine my two previous processes. I have selected a “leadership group” of 4 girls who I see strong leadership potential and good team attitudes. My plan is to now announce to the team that these are the leadership group, and that the rest of the team is able to vote for a captain to be selected purely from these 4. To me this should get buy in from the team as to who their captain is, due to the voting process, but there will not be a surprise or problem with who the captain ends up being.
As the team is selected as a two year bracket (girls born 95/96) I have also selected my leadership group taking into consideration that I wanted to have some from both years. Fortunately this decision wasn’t too difficult and I ended up with 2 1995 girls and 2 1996 girls. Although their actual responsibilities will be quite small, it does enable me to split the team into smaller groups where one of the leaders is in charge if each group.
I have no doubt that there will still be some issues with this process, but in the end the important thing is that the team will get some benefit out of it, and some of the girls will be able to develop further leadership skills in the environment. I can only see how it goes and decide later if it was the right decision.