At the heart of every successful collegiate sports team beats the unwavering dedication embodied by their captains. These individuals, often revered by players and coaches alike, play a pivotal role that extends beyond the field, court, or arena.
Being a team captain in collegiate sports is more than just a title—it’s a responsibility that shapes athletes into both formidable opponents as well as outstanding individuals.
At its core, the team captain is the glue that holds the team together. Captains are the ones who lead by example, exhibiting qualities of discipline, dedication, and determination. Their presence transcends physical contributions by instilling confidence in both their teammates and coaching staff, and serving as a beacon of inspiration through victory and defeat.
By fostering a sense of unity and camaraderie, team captains foster an environment where players can achieve personal and athletic development.
Team captains act as mentors, offering guidance to younger players and those facing challenges on and off the field. Their experience and knowledge become crucial assets as they help guide them through the rigorous demands of participating in collegiate sports, whether it be academic stress, personal issues, or game-related pressure.
Eric Godden, Sci ’24, captain of the Men’s Rugby team, never hesitates to praise younger players on the Gaels roster. Each time I interview him, Godden applauds the performance and development of new recruits.
Effective communication is the foundation of any successful team. Team captains excel in this area, ensuring that information flows seamlessly between coaches and players.
They’re gifted at fostering open dialogue, encouraging players to voice their ideas and communicate openly with one another. This collaborative atmosphere is capable of producing innovative approaches to the game.
Should any of you find yourselves at a rugby game, team captains Lizzie Gibson of the women’s team ArtSci ’24, and Godden are constantly seen conversing with their coaching staff, relaying concerns and ideas to their teammates and coaches about how to improve the game.
With both of Queen’s rugby teams being longstanding powerhouses in their respective divisions, there’s no challenging the impact that Godden and Gibson have on their team’s success.
Integrity is a crucial attribute of captaincy at Queen’s, and Godden and Gibson both epitomize this virtue. They uphold the values of fair play, sportsmanship, and respect while setting high ethical standards for their teammates and any community members privileged enough to see them in action.
By displaying honesty and integrity, team captains instill a strong sense of pride in their teams.
Last week, during the Women’s Rugby game against the Guelph Gryphons, tempers flared as a Guelph player took a shot at Gibson after the whistle. Gibson laughed, walked away, and clapped as the Guelph player received a penalty card.
Embodying the integrity needed to lead a team, Gibson had this to say regarding the impact flared tempers have on the Gael’s mentality,
“You’re gonna come at me like that and get a card? Sure, my team is gonna have my back, and I have theirs,” she told The Journal in a post-game interview. “We’ll take the card all day, and I’ll take the hits, we love that, it fires the crowd right up.”
Representing the integrity needed to lead a team of post-secondary athletes, Gibson’s composure makes her a role model to be followed universally, not just by Gaels athletes.
Overall, captaincy at Queen’s is an esteemed honour. We should continue to celebrate the nature of captains at Queen’s for their unfathomable contributions towards Gaels’ teams and their community.
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