Captains on sport teams sometimes believe that they are poor leaders if they can’t get others to do what is necessary for the progress of the team. Sometimes people on an athletic team are too self-involved to understand the concept of team/program growth.

As a leader you have to figure out how to navigate getting people to buy-in to progress while at the same time help pull teammates out of self-mindedness. Difficult right???

I was speaking to mentor of mine about this and he explained a concept to me that he felt fit with those dual objectives of a captain. He of course pointed to a concept in the scriptures – the concept of “carrying your cross“. Here are three things he said to me:

1) What is the cross?
The cross that Jesus carried represented sedition. In simple language, it represented someone who consciously believed something different than the earthly kingdom powers in control at the time.

The cross is a way of thinking that separates itself from what everyone else is doing. The NCAA is a huge pool of programs, every one with their own mindset. One thing that all those programs ask though is for their athletes to believe in their way of doing things. Do you believe in your program yet?

2) What every recruiter, parent and athlete want.
There are three things that they want – value based program, skill development, and team building learning. It’s the same thing that the Apostle Paul hinted towards in his idea about the church in his writings.

A value-based program gives a program a good foundation for parents to know the direction of how their child will be taught. The remaining two concepts leans heavily on the submission of the athlete to what role is being asked of them. Sometimes an athlete wants to get better but decides neither to develop skill nor to fit into the team model. Yet if asked, they want playing time on the team.

3) Count the CostLuke 14:28-30
Look at how Jesus decided to begin building his true team. He did it not by them doing something but by him carrying his own cross. He had an idea of what he wanted to build here on earth (the kingdom of God), and he understood what it would cost him…so he carried his cross.

Know what your program wants to build and see what YOU need to do or become in order to make the vision come to fruition…tally it up and DO IT.

So what can you do as a captain to lead better?

See where your values line-up with your programs, your skills line-up with what your role asks for, your relationship building skills line-up for aiding with team growth and decide to fix yourself first. Because the only thing you can really control and guide as a leader is YOURSELF.

Carry Your Cross….Lead By Example.


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