captain in basketball
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Basketball Team Captain: What Makes A Good Leader

In basketball, the captain is a leader of the team. The captain must be able to make confident decisions with constant clarity of thought. In order to inspire their teammates during or after timeouts, they also need to be effective communicators.

A captain must be mentally strong and sufficiently seasoned to assume leadership roles on the court as needed but also understands when it’s time for them to cut back on their playing. Finally, captains need to understand the value of teamwork because no one can lead effectively by themselves.

What Is The Role Of A Captain In Basketball?

The in-game responsibilities of a captain in basketball are to make sure everyone is playing their best.

According to FIBA rules, a team captain is the only player allowed to communicate with match officials during dead-ball situations, or timeouts. Any instructions issued by the referees must then be relayed to the rest of the squad by the team leader.

Furthermore, FIBA rules also state that a captain in basketball is the player who has the authority to raise any game-related protests to the basketball officials.

What Makes A Great Basketball Captain?

captain in basketball

Give It Your All!

Be the best you can be every single time you step on that court. Nobody likes to play with a person who is not giving it their all at all times. Regardless of the coach’s assigned position or number of minutes! hen your number is called, make it count!

Stay Humble

Never consider oneself to be better than anyone else. Always keep in mind that everyone contributes something unique for a reason, and work hard every day because there will always be someone trying just as hard as you are—if not harder! Be humble about what skillset others have because it will make you a better captain in the long run!

Positive Mindset

Be positive – no one wants to play with someone who’s always negative. You can express criticism, but not in a way that is incredibly demeaning. Be positive, absorb lessons from mistakes, and continue on. Without being overly critical of oneself or another when they make mistakes during games, etc.

Know Your Role!

Understand when your role in this game is most appropriate. If that makes sense, you might occasionally have to sit out complete quarters while other times simply a portion of them. People can struggle to function well under pressure.

So let them know there is nothing wrong with taking a minute off here and there if necessary. Remember everyone has their unique role within your team whether it’s limited minutes or starting player/center etc…

Be A Great Listener, Encourage

Sometimes, captains should just relax and pay attention. Even if they are the captain, no one wants a person who is constantly nasty or unhelpful! Make sure you are aware of when it is suitable to reduce your playing time.

Encourage your teammates during timeouts/after games, etc… Just remember everyone needs encouragement at some point in different ways. Whether that be through words or actions (high fives, fist bumps after making important shots), etc.

Stay Patient

You won’t always get your way, so keep your head up and learn from your mistakes. So regardless of whether it’s through playing, you may still influence others. Always keep in mind that you are there for everyone, including yourself. But, captains who allow their ego to get in the way of being an effective leader on the field are disliked by everyone.

Also, know when to sit back and listen. Since most captains have been put into this role due to having great communication skills or working hard etc… Being able to communicate with others during games/practices will make you an excellent captain overall.

It is important for them not to have an ego that makes them think they are always right. Or that they need to be playing more because it can hurt the team and their captain in general.

Be Selfless

Being a captain involves more than just how much you participate; it also involves your ability to communicate with others during practices and games and understanding when to step aside and allow others a chance, whether it be by way of limited playing time, starting positions, etc.

It’s important for captains to know themselves but also help out their teammates as much as possible without letting things get too overboard at times with trying to prove yourself all of the time since no one likes an egomaniac either.

Even if you are the captain, you should never consider any other basketball player to be superior than yourself. Everyone contributes a unique set of talents to the team, therefore respect everyone’s role, even if it is smaller than your own.

captain in basketball

Have Confidence

Be confident; since every basketball player has a unique set of skills for the game, leaders shouldn’t ever think of themselves as being superior than anybody else!

There will always be someone working just as hard (or harder) than you are, so don’t get caught up in having to prove yourself all the time. No one likes captains who let their ego get in the way. Instead, recognize when your role is in need of change.

You can create an excellent sense of camaraderie with others by being self-motivated enough but also knowing when to sit back and listen/take a minute off here or there without having an overly negative effect on oneself. Let them have their role within the team and captain in general!

Be A Good Leader

Since no one loves captains who believe they are superior to others, captains should always treat everyone as an equal. Being sufficiently self-motivated while yet knowing when to step back and listen or take a break occasionally without having a significant negative impact on oneself might help you build strong bonds with other people.

Communication Is Key!

Be a good communicator – captains should communicate well with others and never think they are better than everyone else since no one likes captains that do this either, make sure you know when it is appropriate for you not to play as much or encourage others during timeouts/after games, etc…

Let them also have their role within the game so don’t go overboard with trying to prove yourself all of the time because everyone has different skill sets which allow each individual to bring something special to the table despite whether that be limited minutes or starting players etc.

You should always look at everyone as equals since no one likes captains who think they are better than other people on their team!

Common values of great team captains

  • Hardworker
  • Patience
  • Empowerment
  • Communication
  • Camaraderie
  • Passion
  • Respect
  • Accountability

The list above is almost a “must” for all team captains. Every coach who picks their Team Captain will be looking for most of these traits, if not all of them. Captain who possess all of these traits will surely go a long way and will have his teammates respect him and buy into their roles.

How Are Team Captains Chosen In Basketball?

In basketball, team captains are chosen by either the coach or by a vote from teammates. It is important that captains are chosen for this role because they have proven to be leaders on and off of the court many times before, not just during games/practices but also their demeanor outside of basketball as well whether it’s with friends or family members, etc…

Don’t assume you will always be team captain even if you play a particular position because these responsibilities might change based on who is elected; instead, concentrate on the type of leader you want to be since everyone has different leadership styles.

As long as your coach trusts you enough, try out for captain once every few years especially if someone else was elected previously.

captain in basketball


So there you go! We have given you all the tools to become the best captain in basketball. You got what it takes! But we know that every player is different, so if these tips don’t help your game or get your team playing better then maybe some of them will. What do you think?

Do they ring true with how YOU play basketball? Let us know and share any other thoughts below. And remember – practice makes perfect!


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