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The 3 C’s of Being a Captain

The 3 C’s of Being a Captain


Larry Lauer, PhD and Kevin Blue
Michigan State University

Major Point: Captains embody 3 C’s in leading their team: Caring, Courageous, and Consistent.  

Being named a team captain is quite the honor. The position of captain is given to those athletes whom the rest of the team respect and trust to lead the team in the right direction. However, with this great honor also comes great responsibility. A captain must be accountable after a bad performance or practice. Captains are expected to perform in the clutch and lead the team to victory. It is also expected that captains will maintain control in the most pressurized situations and be the model of excellence for their teammates. Wow, coaches and athletes expect a lot of captains don’t they? Is it really worth it to be a captain? 

In our opinion, being a captain is one of the greatest honors an athlete can receive. Yet, many athletes take this honor for granted and do not understand the significance of their responsibilities as captain. In fact, in some situations captains may be selected because they are popular amongst their peers rather than being a suitable candidate for the captaincy. Athletes should take the captain’s role very seriously and put some thought on what it means to be an effective captain. In our opinion a good captain should embody the 3 C’s: 

Caring, Courageous, and Consistent.

3 C’s 


Great captains have an undeniable passion for the game, for competing, and for their teammates. They put the success of the team ahead of their own needs and are truly concerned with the well-being of all team members. As a caring captain, you should treat all teammates with respect and recognize the contributions made by all team members. If you have a problem with a teammate, you should approach that teammate in private and in a positive way to address the situation and find a solution. The captain should be the one to stop rumor spreading and gossiping. These kinds of behaviors destroy team chemistry.


Being Coachable

This article is a combination of one written by Lindsey Wilson (the co-Founder of Positive Performance Mental Training Zone), and Mason Waters from FastModel Sports:


As a coach, I know I can say that honestly. I want my players to be successful. I really do. And I could care less about the ‘glory’ of it, if anyone knows I helped along the way. The game’s about the players, not me. There’s ten thousand coaches around the globe who share that same heartbeat of coaching. At the end of the day, a player’s success is a two way street. So, great players have to have the humility and the hunger to receive coaching.


Players, your job is to make your job, and your coaches job easier by being coachable. Here’s a few ways to make your coaches job easier, more enjoyable, more rewarding, and more successful. If you can make these points habit, you’ll also improve quicker and more efficiently. And your relationship with your coach will be amazing, which is a magnificent thing.


Ways You Can Be More Coachable and Contribute More to Your Team


1. Be prepared. Take five minutes before every practice to release from your mind the rest of your day’s activities. Remember your goals and remember why you’re practicing. Remember that your coach has put in uncountable hours to prepare drills, runs, plays, and practices for you. So, have some respect: when you’re at practice, really, truly BE at practice. Click here for our pre-practice mental routine-the BRAVR technique.


2. Eliminate ABC  (and E)  –  Arguing. Blaming. Complaining. Eye rolling. Honestly, I love it when people embody these three words with their actions. Everything is better. When someone argues, blames, or complains (or eye rolls), I become full of inspiration and motivation to fulfill my dreams. Please tell me you hear the sarcasm in that.


Mental Resetting in Sports

Mental Resetting in Sports

Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Original Post: http://amistrutinbelinoff.blogspot.com/2015/12/blog-post_87.html
In Sport, failure to execute, making simple mistakes, and lack of focus occur frequently and are common in even the most elite athlete, but what separates elite from good is the ability to RESET.

Upon entering any competition most athletes are proficient in preparing their bodies; Right nutrition, warming up the body/muscles, pre-game skills, etc.; however the pre-game mental warm up and preparation is often lacking or not nearly paid attention to enough. Beach volleyball is unique in the mental aspect and demands upon a player. As you go through a game small errors can lead to rhythm changes, momentum shifts, and possible compounding errors which can quickly lead to a loss that could have been prevented with a couple of quick, in the moment mental adjustments. These quick adjustments which I call “Resets” actually start before you even step on the court or into competition.

To be able to quickly make a mental adjustment in the middle of a match you must first enter the match with a “quiet mind” (clean, blank slate if you will), and deeper sense of self awareness. Much like a computer our brains work on neural pathways and connections. When your computer/brain is bogged down with too many applications (distracting thoughts) running at once, your efficiency to perform tasks (motor planning and executive functioning) become compromised. We know this in the computer world because we start to see error messages. Loading information is slow (buffering), and eventually a crash can happen. When your computer is rebooted and Reset everything runs smoother and more efficiently.

Amazingly, we are able to perform this same action with our brains.

Tough Conversations

Tough Conversations

Original post: https://emmabirelineblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/11/tough-conversations/

When I was a freshman in high school, my basketball team was small.  In fact, it was so small that we didn’t have a freshmen or JV team.  My coach was tough.  He had high expectations and conducted physically and mentally demanding practices.  I suited varsity, but only got in the last minute or two (if we were winning by enough).  Essentially, I only had the opportunity to play in practice.  However, I battled, knowing that next year could be my year.

The beginning of my sophomore year was different.  It was a huge disappointment for me.  I still found myself sitting on the bench, going in the last minute or so when my team was up big.  The basketball season is a grind, and I don’t care what anybody says, winter sports (basketball and wresting) are the most challenging.  The weather is cold, it gets dark at 4:30, it’s long, there are 3-4 games a week at times… it’s exhausting.  The weak will not survive, and at that time, I was weak.  I begged my parents to let me quit.

They didn’t say no, but they gave me a condition.  I could quit, IF I approached my coach and asked him about my role, and what I could do to get better.

Approach Coach P? To me, this was an absolute nightmare.  I didn’t sleep that night.  The entire school day, I didn’t hear a single word my teachers said, because I was so focused on how and when I would approach him.  I decided in math class that I would do it after practice that night.

Practice flew by.  It always seems like when you are dreading something, time races to the moment.  I took my practice shoes off, put on my sweats, and walked across the gym to what felt like my execution.

Coach was sitting in his office, already creating a scouting report for the next game.  I asked if I could talk to him, and as soon as I sat down, I started sobbing. I was thinking, “OHMYGOD OHMYGOD EMMA STOP CRYING,” but I couldn’t.  My disappointment and self-doubt all exploded into a disastrous ball of emotion.  So here I was, bawling in front of the man I feared most in this cold dark world… and I mean bawling, and do you know what he did?  Coach gave me a huge hug.

The Four Rules of Defense

Cobb Atlanta ATL Director, Kim Fletcher's, article on defense strategies to help coaches teach their players was published by Junior Volleyball Association (JVA) here:



The Four Rules of Defense

We're all coming up on the first tournament of the year, which means we're all starting to introduce and train defensive team concepts. There's a lot of jumping up and down and yelling "Base!" "Go to the net!" "Ready. Ready!!" I think talking players through the play is a necessary part of the process at first, but we can help our players along and save our voices (a little) by giving some keys to help them figure out why they should be going where we want them to go.

Rich Luenemann (formerly at Washington University in St. Louis) offered a solution for helping players think about what they should be doing when the ball is on the other side of the net. He called it his "rules of defense," and they give players a guide for when and why they should go to base, and when and why they should abandon their base positions.

The Four Rules of Defense are:

  1. Defend the overpass.
  2. Defend the free ball.
  3. Defend the setter dump.
  4. Defend the attack.

By outlining these rules for your players, you give them a way of thinking about the game that allows them to know what exactly they should be ready FOR at any given moment.

Rule 1: Defend the Overpass

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