5 Leadership Qualities of a Soccer Captain

Is your goal to become captain of your soccer team? Many Socceristas share this desire. I was honored to captain my high school and college soccer teams. To me, being soccer captain was everything. It was the goal that kept me motivated day in and day out of practice and games. Double sessions and doubleheaders. Wins and loses.  

When you take the reigns as captain, it’s important to give it your all ALWAYS, show sportsmanship, and lead your team with encouragement and action.

But, I would like to allow you to see through the eyes of a coach.  What qualities is your coach looking for in a captain?  One of my favorite coaches, Chris Legates, weighed in.

Chris LeGates has been a college women’s soccer coach in Divisions I, II, and III since 1992. Presently, he is the Head Assistant Coach of Women’s Soccer at Southern Connecticut State University and the U17 girl’s coach and College Pathway Director at Vale Soccer Club. 

Here’s what Chris had to say: 

When considering what qualities are important in selecting a captain, I think these 5 are paramount so that there can be a good training and playing environment for everyone involved:


Potential leaders must be able to be honest. As someone who will be the middle ground between the staff and the players, it is important to voice concerns, questions and information in an honest and transparent way.

A Good Communicator

A captain must be a good communicator. Information must flow between the team and staff, and the captain is going to be relied on to help move that flow of information. Teams that do not communicate well, will not reach their potential.

A Leader by Example 

Over my career, I have selected players who can be a captain by their character and if they lead by example. Is the player near the top of your fitness testing categories? Are they taking their academics seriously? Are they doing the little things to get better? Do they have a growth mentality? If the answer is “yes” to all of these questions, then you have a potential captain.


 Can they put the WE before the ME? The captain will find themselves in situation where they will to have listen to players, talk to players and in some cases have to critique players. All of this while having to put their own game on the back burner for the good of the team.

Carries Themselves Well

 How a player carries themselves on the field is something that is very important when considering qualities in a captain?  A player that is encouraging to their teammates, that is positive, that does not question referees or coaches is someone that could be ready for a leadership role.

Are you ready to step into the role? Or do you have a few qualities you need to develop? Whichever point you’re at – prepared or in the process of preparation – you have it in you!

You’re reading this because YOU want to be captain. Go after it. Develop. Grow. And lead!

Featured Image via Adobe Stock @sanedor


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