Captains’ Round Table created to instill leadership qualities

Aaron Brezel, Assistant Sports Editor

While many athletes aspire to become captain of a sports team, the position is often considered more of a ceremonial title than a practical one.

“In basketball we never had set captains,” said junior Brandon Small.  “From what I could tell, the captain position never had any meaning in Schreiber.”

The athletic department attempted to tackle this issue by joining the growing trend of sports councils across the country when Athletic Director Ms. Stephanie Joannon convened the first ever Captains’ Round Table Discussion on Oct. 10 and 12.

“With these meetings, I really want to answer one simple question: Yay I’m a captain, but what does that mean?” said Ms. Joannon.  “The way I see it, student athletes do not always understand what it means to be a captain.  It stops them from doing their job properly.”

To remedy this, Ms. Joannon brought together team captains in the wrestling room with the purpose of creating a panel to discuss strategy and support, as well as the state of each team.  Additionally, Ms. Joannon wanted to make herself an available resource for any questions a captain might have.  The 42 fall sport captains were divided into two groups, with the boys meeting on  Oct.  10, and the girls meeting on Oct. 12.  Both meetings took place during 4.1/4.2, with plenty of food to attract the participants.

“They had really good cookies!” said girls swimming captain junior Sarah Maley.

In the meetings, each captain was given a folder contai ning tips on how to positively influence their teams.  However, rather than blandly going through bulletpoints, this first meeting was intended to spur healthy dialogue concerning the role of the captain.

“It was nice to share personal experiences with captains from different sports,” said girls tennis captain senior Holly Hubsher.  “Even when you think that one sport is so different from another, a lot of the time we have similar stories.”

With such positive response and a good turnout, Ms. Joannon plans to have three captains’ meeting for each sport season,  one in the beginning of the season to serve as an introduction, a second in the middle of the season as teams get ready for a playoff push, and a final meeting as a review of the captain experience.  With each of these meetings, captains are expected to learn how to deal with the inevitable roadblock of poor leadership.  For two hours a day, a captain is a superior of his or her peer. This can make for awkward situations.

“Once you step onto the field, the relationship dynamic you had with your friends changes,” said Ms. Joannon.  “The position of captain, though, is not just about ordering people around.  You also have to know the difference between being a boss and being a leader.”

Principal Mr. Ira Pernick has supported the Captains Round Table..

“As a school it is important to identify the leaders in our athletic programs,” said Mr. Pernick.  “If we can do that, then we will be able to make not only our athletics, but the entire school a better place.”

In the future, Ms. Joannon envisions an established group of captains, similar to the Letter Club, that would help organize, educate, and unify Schreiber athletics.