Sophia Candappa is the current Wasp's Netball Captain. She has many achievements- including being a former England International. I had the opportunity to ask her a few questions on how to be the best leader and team captain in netball.
What qualities make a good team captain?
' I believe a good team captain puts others first, they are selfless. They are determined to be the best version of themselves in order to help the team succeed both on and off the court. Key skills include being a good listener and communicator. And I always try and act with kindness.'
How would you describe your leadership style?
' I would say in different situations you would utilise different styles. There is a time and a place to be direct with your teammates to resolve a problem quickly. There are also times as a leader to step back and allow the situation to evolve naturally. I would say overall though my style is democratic, where I listen to those around me and try to make decisions and behave in a way that reflects the needs of the team.'
What are your key roles as a team captain?
'As a captain I have key roles both on and off the court. On the court leading by example, being a good role model and communicating well with my teammates and any officials. Off the court I am responsible for supporting players, liasing with the coaches and support staff, motivating players in training and on game days.'
How do you boost your teammates motivation?
' So before a game we always have a pre-match song and this really gets everyone excited and ready to play. I have always picked the song at Wasps and it has been quite a big responsibility. We usually all get in a circle- arms around one another and sing loudly and jump to the beat. It is also my responsibility to lead team talks pre, during and post games and I always try to be very direct and to the point, but ultimately try and give my teammates the belief and energy that we can perform.'
What makes you unique as a Captain?
' I care deeply about the people I play with, I think it is so important to treat each player as the individual that they are, and to not expect people to change or mould to fit a team. I think you can create an incredible team culture by knowing your teammates well, and I am a big believer in doing a lot of this off the court and away from netball. It could be something as small as asking about your teammates home life, what they enjoy watching on Netflix or what they like cooking. At Wasps we love to socialise together off the court, we enjoy nights out together, team quizzes and we love baking for the team!'
It was a great privilege to interview Sophia Candappa and to get an insight about her leadership and key roles as a team captain. I hope this article has inspired you too and you have learnt some tips!