TEACHING LEADERSHIP AT A YOUNG AGE
Being named the captain of a sports team is typically held as a big honor, especially at a young age. However, being a captain also holds great responsibility. With the captains from the 2003, 2004, and 2005 Utica Jr. Comets recently being picked, Director of the Jr. Comets Bill Horton talked about their thought process and what being a captain means at a young age.
“We looked for kids that showed competitiveness, a willingness to sacrifice for the betterment of the team, vocal leaders in the locker room and during practice, and positivity,” Horton said. Horton also stated that they looked for players who exemplified the character section of the Comet Culture handbook, which reads:
“Being a Comet means letting your organic character shine. Make the name and number on the back of your jersey mean something more than just letters and numbers that people see on the ice. Your character will always triumph over your talent. You must never become bigger than the team and remember to do the small things that count and build upon your own self-reflection. Character is the mark left on you by life, as well as the mark we leave on life. Better people make better Comets.”
The captains are already making a quick impact on their respective teams. “One captain had to miss the first of two games this weekend, and it was a world difference with him in the lineup for the second game. He changed the whole complexion of the defense and the team as a whole,” Horton added.
When speaking about the significance of captains at a younger age, Horton added that it is important to teach and build leadership and that he hopes the other players who aren’t in a leadership role will see their captain leading by example and rally around them.
“It helps the kids get accustomed to being in a leadership role which is something that also translates to non-hockey activities as well. We want to be more than just a hockey team to these young players.”