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How to Be a Successful Cricket Captain

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Importance of Captain and their Responsibilities

This post helps you to find out what are the main qualities needed to become a successful captain. In general terms, captains are selected based on their experience, their level of performance and often the position that they occupy in the team (often batsmen). There are, in essence, three main responsibilities that captains have for the team.

  1. To act as a mediator between the coaching staff and the team
  2. To act as a leader during all team activities (particularly on the pitch)
  3. To represent the team at events, meetings, and press conferences

Alongside this, there are a number of specific roles that captains perform. These include:

  • Ensuring a constant flow of information between the coach and team
  • Leading by example
  • Inspiring and motivating
  • Helping the coach in the planning stages for the team
  • Conducting oneself in a professional manner before, during and after the game with respect to teammates, opponents, and officials.

Important skills

There are many skills which are very important for captains to master include:

  • Being effective communicators
  • Remaining positive (regarding performance, potential, and outcomes)
  • Controlling one’s emotions
  • Remaining respectful to fellow players and coaches (setting the standards that all others are expected to meet)

Captains not only fulfill a leadership role but also fulfill a management role making decisions on strategy and tactics, selection and planning, as well as determining who bats where in the order and who bowls when. This absence of a co-leader in many cricket teams makes it difficult for the captain to delegate responsibilities. In many clubs and teams, the vice-captain is appointed as someone who can ‘stand-in’ for the captain if they are not available.  Also, it is important for captains to recognize that they don’t need to do it all themselves. Very good captains will maximize the usefulness of the players that are on their team. So, the captain’s strengths might be in being very organized and by planning well, but not being the best at coming up with a new plan when everything else is not working. If there is someone else on the team who is good at being innovative in the field then the captain can use them for ideas.

Now, you might ask the question ‘How do I know what the rest of the team can contribute?’ Well, this comes down to the way that you lead. If you are always ‘leading from the front’ and making all the decisions you might never know what some teammates might be able to bring to the team. However, if you ask colleagues for their thoughts and ask questions such as ‘What would you do?’ or ‘What do you think?’ you can start to get a feel for how the rest of the team thinks and what they might be able to contribute. This approach also has the added benefit of empowering the rest of the team to think in more detail about the game and to feel a greater sense of ownership into the courses of action the team ultimately takes.

Becoming a better Leader and Captain

A number of factors have been highlighted that appear to distinguish the most effective leaders. These include:

  • Being effective in doing what is required of them
  • Ensuring a high degree of satisfaction within the team
  • Continually helping, and supporting fellow players to develop their physical and mental abilities to ultimately improve team performance.
  • Continue to develop interpersonal (man management) skills
  • Listen well
  • Make strong decisions and be willing to be accountable for those decisions
  • Active and direct problem solvers
  • Create standards for performance
  • Recognize and reward generously
  • Convey enthusiasm

Leaders can also seek to increase their influence or power within the team by paying attention to their appearance (looking professional), demonstrating self-confidence and expertise. Furthermore, the team is more likely to follow someone who has an expertise and prior experience relating to the task in hand; a successful track record as a player is a great start to gaining the respect of the team. The leader needs to have confidence in their ability and be confident in the tactical choices that they make. Portraying an air of confidence will make others feel confident about you.

The leader is also responsible for the allocation of rewards and punishments. The degree to which this can be done consistently and effectively has a direct impact on the power that the leader has with the group. If you are not consistent or appear to be weak then you will not be well respected, and ultimately effective, as a leader. If you want that all other team members also perform so for that you have to set an example.

 

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