Playing under a good captain is a wonderful way to play cricket. Good captains rarely, if ever, let players, games or seasons drift away into boredom. You always get a game, the matches are as close as can be and you win more often than not. And if you are a club captain yourself, you have no doubt asked yourself how you can be this good yourself.
The 6 Keys to Great Club Captaincy
Leadership is what makes good captains. But it's leadership with a special twist because good club cricket captaincy is an art in itself made up of several different role and responsibilities. Here are those 6 roles.
- Selector. Club selection is far removed from professional selection, often there are not even enough players to make up a team. Some teams have players of massively varying standards, which makes it's the captains job to balance the side with 5 bowlers (including a couple of spinners) and still be able to give the weaker players a game without risking losing the match.
- Tactician. A good captain knows the unique ways to handle spinners, set fields, declare and deal with local conditions in club cricket. They will also be a master of more traditional tactics seen at higher levels. Creativity, awareness of the match situation and hunches are highly prized skills too.
- Motivator. Getting the best out of players is one of the harder skills to master as a captain. You need to know what makes your players tick and respond accordingly. Some cricketers need an arm round the shoulder, others need a kick up the arse. A good captain will know why their team-mates play, what they like to do, how good they are, what gets them into the zone and what distracts them.
- Rudder. It's also important for the captain to work with the team. This means making sure that everyone is the team has a well defined role and that everyone know each others roles. There may also be conflict within a team â€“ especially when players are playing regularly in league games. The captain will be on hand to deal with this to ensure it doesn't go out onto the pitch. Over the course of a season this is a vital function if your side is to stay on track to win the league.
- Coach. Most players don't expect to be coached technically by the captain, but the skipper can set the standards: running net and fielding drill sessions, warming the team up and developing player goals are all part of the coaches job so if you have no coach it's the captains job. After all, it's good for the team to have players who are well organised.
- Player. Captains who put in their share of wickets and runs instantly gain more respect. That means if you are captain you need to work harder than anyone to do your bit as a player. It sets the expected standards for the team too.
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Want to be a better captain? Learn from the best with the interactive online course Cricket Captaincy by Mike Brearley.
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