There's quite a bit of responsibility that goes into being a team captain. Some aspects of the job are harder to handle than others. Here are some things you can do to make your captain's job easier.
Undeniably, the most annoying situation for a captain, albeit out of anyone's control, is the weather! Keeping track of rescheduled matches due to rain-outs is like juggling frogs. It's a lot to keep track of, and there's a high probability of something getting dropped.
In the most likely event that you end up having to play a rescheduled match, do your captain a favor and
- Keep them updated on the agreed upon rescheduled match, including: date, time, and location.
- Write everything down to share with them promptly after the match is complete, including:
- Your opponents' first and last names
- Who won and/or lost
- What the score was
Keeping track of 8-12 (or more) players' availability, making sure everyone gets equal playing time, planning a winning line-up, coordinating the home team post-match hospitality, among other things, is plenty enough work for a team captain (aka Chief Cat Herder). There are, however, things team members can do to make a captain's job a little easier.
Start Being a Team Player Early in the Season
- Pay your current year WPTC membership dues.
WPTC captains are required to confirm that everyone on their team is a current WPTC member before they give out the team number to players to register for the team on TennisLink. Typically, captains don't enjoy hounding players to take care of this mandated requirement. So do your part, and don't be THAT person.
- Make sure to pay your USTA membership through the season.
You won't be able to register in TennisLink without a current USTA membership.
- Get out and practice...even in the winter months!
There are lots of indoor tournaments and don't forget about WPTC Indoor Socials!
- Promptly respond to their communications regarding team commitments and schedule availability.
The Little Things During the Season
Remember, they have 8-12 players to keep track of, so even the small things can quickly add up to a pain in the neck. Here are some little things you can do during the season that go a long way in making your captain's job easier.
- If you can't play when scheduled, find your own sub and let your captain know who's playing for you.
- Arrive on-time, preferably early, to all matches.
- After your match is over, make sure to write down the first & last names of your opponents, the score and who won.
- During home matches the whole team plays host, so pitch in with...
- hospitality setup and cleanup
- offering the opposing team a beverage and a snack
Remember, many hands make light work.
Be a Team Player ON and OFF the Court
Team captains are volunteers, and volunteers who are appreciated are more likely to keep volunteering. Team captains notice the real team players and they appreciate it immensely when you do your part to make their jobs easier.
Oh, and if you've got a really great captain, it never hurts for the team to chip in on a captain's thank you gift at the end of the season!