Leading the Way

Sullivan Schulz
Staff Editor 

It is said that captains are supposed to be the coach on the floor, or the mediators who bring it all together. 

Senior Nadire Zhuta said it is a big responsibility.

“In basketball I feel like I have a great responsibility to the team,” said Zhuta. “I have to make sure everyone does their role and make sure that they have the right tools to get that done.”

Zhuta has played basketball for the Lady Kings all four years. She is a captain along with her fellow senior teammates Madison Rose and Lianna Guevarra. Zhuta said she learned how to be a leader by following the example set by others like Hannah Maxwell (class of 2018) when she was younger.
“She always put the team before herself and she always played 100% to the best of her ability,” said Zhuta. “Hannah is someone I always think about when I think of a leader.”

How do you lead?
One of the big questions that comes up in basketball is what ideals do you follow? Do actions speak louder than words? For Kristain Pihl your actions are the most important. 

“Captains don’t have to be the most skillful player on the team, but there must be a high level of skill there,” said Pihl. “Giving the players someone to look up to and inspire to be is important, also giving everyone a level of comfortability is key. No one likes to bark orders at others and I think the best way to make everyone work together is to help them respect and want to play for each other.”

Who comes first, the team or the coach? As a captain there’s a relationship that is made between you and the players. It’s important to be someone the players want to play for and respect. The other side is the coach. The coach puts you in place to connect the team and lead on another level that they can’t connect with the players at. As a captain are you looking to satisfy the coach or the players. For Madison Rose building trust is the key to a functioning team.

“Having trust is the key to teamwork. Without a level of trust the team would fall apart and it’d be a mess,” said Rose. “Connecting with the players is very important to me.”

Rose also said that being the bridge from players to coach builds a better connection. 

“The coach chose us to lead for a reason. He trusts us and sees the players follow something in us,” said Rose. “Respecting the coach and relaying the opinion of the team is key.” 

Why do we choose leaders?
Sports analysts say that captains are chosen based on skill, motivation, and responsibility. Boys basketball coach Eric Stockhausen said that he chooses captains based on the same characteristics. 

“I choose captain because I see the team look up to them,” said Stockhausen. “They inspire and motivate the team with their skill and actions and they all recognize the responsibility and impact they have.” 

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