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The Mystique Of Captains This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   The honor of being named "Captain" by your teammates is one few athletes ever achieve. Because of this, we take the election of captains seriously. We all know it is a position that should only be bestowed on those who deserve it, and will live up to the title. However, those in whom we place our faith have often disappointed us, and the rest of the team regrets the decision daily. Maybe it is the prestige of "captainship" that causes our friends to change into unrecognizable monsters. Captains often inexplicably forget why they were chosen, which is the kiss of death for their team.

I believe captains should be chosen not because they are the best player on the team, but because they are the best people on the team. Captains should continuously cheer on the team, struggling to maintain morale in the darkest of circumstances. Captains should fight bad calls, and demand equal treatment of all teammates. Captains should be leaders on the field and off, who never do anything to lose respect of their team. The definition of an ideal captain does not include the term "starter" or the one with the most years played. Captains should recognize that such qualifications mean nothing, and they are not why you were chosen. Rather we, the team, saw the leader in you and now is up to you to acknowledge that.

The mistake of choosing a bad captain, perhaps one who would walk off the field during a game, talk back to the coach, or encourage dissent among the players, is the worst possible thing can happen to a team. Morale rapidly deteriorates and reaches irreparable lows. Bickering will increase, communication will become a foreign concept, and the end-product is a bunch of individuals refusing to be a team. I speak from experience, having played with teams filled with talent, yet not-so-mysteriously stricken with losing records. One bad captain has the power to destroy an entire team - for once a team is disillusioned, it will begin to break, and the whole season becomes a waste of time. Players concentrate on the number of days left in the season instead of looking forward to the next win. They have no drive, no passion, will not win and will not be considered contenders.

The ultimate message: Captains, listen to your teammates. Acknowledge the reasons you were chosen. Trust an expert, it's not worth the loss of a season, friends, or respect which you will receive. We look up to you to lead us to glory. Ultimately, you make or break your team. l


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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