A soccer captain is not always the best player on the team. Skills alone are not enough to earn the captain's armband. You must also have a strong personality, a fair sense of discipline and the ability to lead your teammates.
Starting the Game
It is your responsibility as team captain to meet with the referee and the captain of the opposing team to take part in the coin toss before the start of play. If you win the coin toss, you can choose which team will take the kickoff and in which half both teams will start. You will also take part in a coin toss in the event of a penalty shootout, with the winner of the toss deciding which team takes the first penalty kick.
Talking to the Referee
According to FIFA’s Laws of the Game, the captain of a team has no special status or privileges on the field, but he does have a degree of responsibility for the behavior of his team. If the referee has concerns about the behavior of your team or an individual player, he will often call you over to express his opinions. The captain is the team’s figurehead on the field, so it is your job to pass on the words of the referee to your players, making sure they listen to and obey his instructions.
Organizing the Team
Your coach or manager controls the team on and off the field. Once the game begins, however, your coach is restricted to the sideline, severely limiting communication with the players. It is up to you to help organize the team during play, serving as the voice of your coach. You must be fully aware of your manager’s tactical commands and general strategic vision, making sure your teammates are following the game plan. Talk to your teammates whenever possible. A captain should be vocal and unafraid to give orders to his players, as long as those orders reflect the coach’s tactics.
The best soccer captains are able to motivate their players, boosting morale when needed. If your teammates are struggling, on or off the field, take the time to talk to them. A few choice words from the captain are often enough to reinvigorate a player, perhaps even motivating the entire team to a far greater overall performance.
Setting an Example
Actions speak louder than words, so a vocal captain must also lead by example. You must always be on time for training sessions, and you must train hard. During matches, your role demands that you show passion and determination, always playing to the best of your abilities. Few players will respect a captain who gives orders but fails to show total commitment to the team.
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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.