The new England Cricket Test captain has been announced this week, with star batsman Joe Root taking the helm, succeeding Alastair Cook. The 26 year-old Yorkshireman will take the field as captain for the first time against South Africa in July, with all-rounder Ben Stokes as his vice-captain.
Becoming captain is often a daunting prospect and it can take a while for you - or the chosen player - to settle into this new position, which will come with a lot more roles and responsibilities. To be a top captain, it's important that you become a great leader, both on and off the pitch.
Here are our top tips to help you become a great captain!
Lead by example
Your teammates will look up to you so you need to be setting a good example. Always give 100% effort and by acting professionally on and off the pitch, it'll help encourage your teammates to follow your example. Even when you're losing the game, it's important that your team doesn't give up and will look to you to help guide them through the remainder of the game.
Be a good sport
Treat the opposition with respect, making sure to shake their hands at the end of the game, no matter what the result is. Your teammates should follow suit and you should encourage them to act in a professional and sporting manner. You also need to treat the match officials with respect; do not use any abusive language towards them and whilst it is fine to contest decisions, do it in a way which is respectful. Losing your temper will set a bad example to your team!
Make sure that you are communicating with each member of your team, both on the pitch and away from it. Let your teammates know that they can come to you to discuss any issues and you'll value their opinion, as you look to build up their trust. On the pitch, it's important that you are positive and encourage your teammates; using any negative language when anyone makes a mistake can cost your team.
Smells like team spirit
Team spirit can play a massive part in your team's success and as captain, it's important that you encourage a great team dynamic, as it can often get you over the line in big matches! Work for your teammates, making sure that you all work together as one; if you're happy together as a team, then the results will come! Off the pitch, organise team bonding exercises to build a level of trust with your team and as captain, make sure that you're on good terms with all of the players.
Great captains aren't born but with dedication, hard work and time, you can become a true leader for your team!
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