Follow Me: The Winter Captains’ Clinic


“Being a team captain and student leader at Bolles can be a challenge,” said Dean Newman.  So, in the spring of 2018, he began holding Captains’ Clinics.

  In these clinics, the captains of each sport of the upcoming season come together to discuss what it means to be a captain as well as what qualities make a good leader.  

  The clinics are a new addition to the Bolles Athletic department.  Newman said, “With the support of the administration and Athletic department, Coach Boswell and I held the first workshop last spring with the captains of all the spring sports.”  As of now, there have been 2 additional clinics for the fall sports and for the winter sports.

  The clinic is a great honor that tells each captain selected that he or she is a leader and an outstanding member of the Bolles community.  “Our primary goal with the program is to help the student-athletes understand the support and resources available to them as well as celebrate the fact their coaches have chosen them to be leaders on this year’s teams,” said Newman.

  “Not every Senior gets an opportunity like this and it feels good knowing that I worked hard to earn my spot,” said Ella Edwards (‘19, Girls Varsity Soccer).  

  Will Shepherd (‘19, Varsity Basketball) attributed his leadership learning to Mr. Newman.  “Coach Newman did a really great job of educating us, he made it as fun as it could be with the structure.”

 At the clinic, we began with breakfast, and looked through a slide show that reflected the packet we were given.  We also received a t-shirt and a Bolles pop socket.

  Attendees, Frank Iturriaga Ayala (‘19 Varsity Soccer),                 Michael Hume (‘19 Varsity Soccer), Ella Edwards, Will Shepherd, and Stefan Mostovych (‘19 Varsity Soccer), and I discussed different situations for captains to handle such as what to do when another athlete is not working as hard as he or she should be.  

  In the packet, was a list 21 characteristics that define an exceptional captain and quotations that explored those characteristics.  Some of these characteristics included: Charisma, Commitment, Communication, Competence, Courage, Discernment, Focus, Generosity, and Initiative.

  Along with each characteristic came quotations and points on how to improve that quality.  For example, for the characteristic of initiative, Conrad Hilton said, “success seems to be connected with action.  Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.”

  Additionally, the packet contained a few exercises for us to fill out, including a name the captain game, a goal setting sheet, and a “captain’s quiz”.

  One of the most important ideas that we took away from the clinic was that many people are misguided about the qualities that make a good captain.  Edwards learned that a captain “isn’t just the best player on the team, it’s the person who rises above all when their teammates are down and overcomes adversity in tough situations.”

  While the clinics are enjoyable, they are also extremely informative, as leaders learn how to embody the motto “follow me” in which captains act as role models for their peers.

The clinics are designed not only to cultivate leaders on the field, but also leaders off it.  Newman said, “If these student leaders can make a positive impact on others in the locker room, classroom and on the weekends, that’s a plus.”