Wednesday, August 6, 2008

"Captains" as "apostles"

Meant to post this article from a week or so ago about Michigan's Rich Rodriguez creating a group of "apostles" who "will serve as communicators between players and coaches."

According to Coach Rodriguez, the 20-player group, that includes seniors as well as freshmen, is "not Biblical in nature."

"The definition of an apostle is 'one that leads a new way.' I'm not looking for them to change the world. We have a lot of fun with it. Sometimes it's as simple as picking the pre-game music. It's not like we're making major decisions. It's not like, 'coach, we're going to run the wishbone this week.'

I told the guys, 'You are going to be held to a higher standard on and off the field, so if you're not willing to accept that you've got to let me know.' It's not like they're going to be scrutinized any more.

It's kind of like a sounding board for the players, for me. More than anything else, I want the communication to be open. I don't need the leadership as much during practice -- that's what coaches are there for. I need leadership more when the coaches aren't around, in the locker room and around campus. That's where I need the leadership. When we're around, that's our job."

Here's how one Michigan senior described the program:

"You can call us whatever you want. It's basically just labeling some guys who can keep each class focused. Whether they're labeled 'captains' or 'apostles,' every team knows who its leaders are. All this is doing is letting guys know they have an opportunity to lead this team."

Another senior said this:

"I like the fact that we can all come together and talk about something we think needs to change or something we just want to talk about. I like that we can all come together instead of two people making the decision."

It's a good example of a coach looking for ways to engage his team's leaders and keep open the lines of communication between players and the coaching staff.