17 comments

  1. Is naming new captains for each game a common practice in college football?

    Also, I tend to wonder if it’s really healthy to change captains each week. I know the intent here is to prove that the team is flooded with leaders and good players, but I feel like it could backfire on an subconscious level.

    It seems like not being able to define your four most solid leaders creates an image of instability. It seems to me that younger players would be able to latch on to a small group of leaders that have distinguished themselves as worthy, permanent captains, and that their words and directions would carry more weight than those of a temporary weekly captain.

    I can see both sides I guess. What do other people think?

  2. I’m just wondering why Tom Crean wasn’t a team captain this year?

    I’ve never seen his name on the roster officially but he has done nothing but provide indefatigable leadership and support for the young Hoosier football team.

    No wonder basketball is king

  3. Being named as a captain for the previous week’s work in practice is a positive incentive for the upperclassmen to stay focused. I would say it is a pretty smart move by Coach Lynch and staff. The natural leaders are still there week after week to offer support, help and motivation to the younger group.

  4. Yeah, I see that argument in theory.

    But in reality it seems like something a high school program would institute.

    These are college football players. If they need incentives like being “captain for a game” to get them to work hard in practice, then we have a much larger team-wide problem. It’s like being “employee of the month.”

    And the converse to your argument would be that stripping last week’s captains of their titles may actually demoralize those players. All of the sudden, they may feel that they’re being punished in some way.

    It just seems childish and unbefitting of a division one college football program.

    If the upperclassmen don’t know how to stay focused by now, they never will.

    In my opinion, a coach is better off making it known that permanent captains will be named before the first game. Then the upperclassmen have a summer-long incentive to play their butts off if they really want to be recognized as team leaders.

    Making the title of “captain” a weekly, ever-changing concept cheapens its value in my opinion. It’s like getting a “participation” ribbon for simply running a race.

  5. I don’t think it’s unusual for football teams to have game captains.

    You can debate the logic behind it, of course. I’ve met plenty of coaches who think if they don’t have one or two leaders who can command the respect of every single player in the room, they’re doomed. And I’ve met others who focus more on having a leader for each position group, because most of the day-to-day work done by a football player happens when he’s with the players in his unit.

  6. Also, I’ve always been much more uncomfortable with coaches who allow the players to vote for captains. In my experience — and especially with a team that has 100 kids on it — you need leadership from kids that might not always be popular.

    IU voted last year, and it did not get the type of leadership it needed.

  7. The permanent captains did not help create a positive impact last year. Give Coach Lynch some credit for making such a change to help develop leadership skills in the people who are the most focused in practice each week. It is not recognition for participation; nor is it a game ball for performance. It is a development tool to build leadership skills. No one will be demoralized because I’m sure Coach Lynch has explained how and why it is being done this year.

  8. I think it’s a valiant attempt.

    And I’m not an adamant Lynch detractor, believe me. I’m just raising what I feel to be a valid question.

    I just think when you create the thought that “captain” is just a weekly reward, rather than a steadfast symbol of constant and mature leadership, it changes the feel a lot.

    To me it just seems like a glorified “gold star” for having a good week of practice, rather than a lasting symbol of a true leader on the team. I think that sort of system has a lot of potentially negative subconscious effects.

    For example:

    – Younger players have different captains every week, and must shift their attention accordingly.

    – The captain for any given week may be viewed by others as someone who just had a good week of practice, and not as much someone who deserves season-long respect for his ability to lead and give direction to the program.

    – If players know they have a shot at making captain on a week to week basis, they may practice in a way that showcases their individual abilities more (in hopes of achieving captain status or grabbing attention) and less in a way that builds team chemistry and teamwork.

    – It could be interpreted as a sign that our team has no leaders even worthy enough of being permanent captains.

    – With a permanent captain system, there will undoubtedly be players who aren’t chosen to be captains, and feel that they should’ve been. But since the issue is put to rest before the first game, most of those individuals will move past the disappointment and work hard for the rest of the season. By instilling a weekly selection, there will be disappointed players each week who are focusing on their perceived snub instead of on being a strong part of the team.

    These are just some things that immediately and naturally came to mind. Am I being way to analytical here? I’m just speaking from my years of being on teams in high school, and how I may have felt about doing it this way.

  9. It is a tool to develop a competition for leadership. Every organization I have been associated with developed leadership with competition. I am sure Coach Lynch and his staff are attentive to any player who may not be responding to it as they have explained it. It is a very subtle change. If it remains in place next season we will know it worked. If it not used next year we know it didn’t. No need to worry about the emotional state of mind a college football player would be placed under from this action. They are tougher and smarter than that.

  10. “Team Capitans”: This is the type of thing that people only talk about when they have a really crappy football program.

  11. The captains each game run out on the field for the coin toss…and that’s about it.

    I like the idea of rotating captains each game. This is a senior-laden team and I’m sure that there are a few guys who have stepped up and led the team throughout training camp and the year so far. I think players like Jammie Kirlew, Bryan Payton, Matt Mayberry, and Ben Chappell are looked upon by the other players to provide leadership, even if they are not technically “captains”.

    Why not give a player who had a great week an opportunity to be recognized as the captain for the game?

  12. I agree with Casey on this. I think having permanent captains is a good thing. I think what people sometimes miss is that being a captain doesn’t mean you just walk out for the coin toss.

    I played basketball, not football, but in my experience it’s very important to have stability in the captains position, and it’s important that captains have the trust of both the players and the coaching staff. In my experience I’ve been asked several times by teammates to address concerns with coaches. A captain has to be able to decipher if the concern is legit enough to bring to the coaches and how to best approach the coach about it. If it’s not legit you have to have the respect of your teammates to be able to say “hey guys, suck it up, it’s not that big of a deal”.

    My opinion is that revolving captains makes this difficult. If the team has a concern, do they go to the captains that week? Do they go to the sort of natural leaders? If the concern is from the game last week, do they go to last weeks captains?

    If it’s a case of providing motivation for practice, there’s other ways to do that.

  13. As Jimmy stated above and was obviously ignored by the rest of you, the leadership council will vote for game captains each week. The leadership council is made up of a group of players that can vote others on and off at will.

    The coaches do not name the captains!

Comments are closed.