Great Captains: 8 Mental Toughness Characteristics That Can Inspire Others

Great Captains: 8 Mental Toughness Characteristics That Can Inspire Others

By working with David Charlton, you and your organisation will be better equipped to rise to modern day challenges and better informed to thrive on and off the pitch, course or court.  Where he inspires individuals and teams to:

  • Cope with pressure and challenges more effectively
  • Maintain positive mental health
  • Compete with confidence more often
  • Manage your emotions better
  • Improve your commitments levels

David is a Mental Toughness Practitioner, as well as a Health Care and Professions Council (HCPC) Registered Sport and Exercise Psychologist.  He has successfully supported athletes, teams and organisations for over 10 years in order to ensure that they perform at their maximum more often.

He has a comprehensive knowledge around the development of Mental Toughness, a plastic personality trait, which determines or limits people to deal effectively with change, challenges and stressors.  In today’s climate, during the Coronavirus pandemic this quality is becoming more and more valuable to individuals, teams and organisations. 

What makes a great captain in team sports?

In this week’s short solo episode I elaborate on this question where I focus on the 8 key sub-measures of Mental Toughness from Peter Clough’s 4Cs model sharing my thoughts and ideas, some case studies and tips to help you, your players or students or your children.

Key Learning Points

  • When coaches face selection headaches often they choose the player that they trust more, the one who has some captaincy qualities, when dealing with difficult situations and pressure.
  • As well as, performing competently on a consistent basis, captains need to be able to inspire confidence in their players, evaluate game plans and be flexible in their approach if circumstances dictate. 
  • The hallmark of a mentally tough captain is to deal with pressure well, they’ll then make smarter decisions and communicate more effectively with their team-mates, coaches and the referee. 
  • A captain should be a leader, a skilled communicator, a calm decision maker, and an important link between team and coach. 
  • To remain calm perhaps create a 20 or 30 second rule, where you allow yourself time to settle, take in the event that has happened and breathe before reacting.
  • Encouraging yourself and others with a positive “CAN DO” attitude is essential as a captain.
  • When your team is behind in a game or struggling, a captain can really help a team by giving off an air of confidence to team-mates. 
  • Captains who encourage learning from mistakes and don’t point the finger, playing the blame game can help team-mates play with more freedom.

Connect with David Charlton

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Relevant Podcast Episodes to Improve Your Captaincy Skills

Ep041: Paul McGee – How to Develop Interpersonal Confidence

Ep120: David Charlton – Sport Coach Development: Helping Athletes Perform Better by Adapting How You Communicate

Ep128: Paula Eddy-Wilcox – Can You Show Vulnerability and Be Mentally Tough? Yes!

Ep161: Paul Phillips – How to Create a Culture of High Performance in Professional Rugby Union

Ep166: Mark Bennett MBE – How To Help Athletes and Coaches Reflect On Their Performances

Other Relevant Blogs Benefit Captains

Blog: Why You Should Recognise The Power of Your Words

Blog: 5 Reasons Team Captains Should Work With a Sports Psychologist

Blog: Mental Game of Football: An Error Many Footballers Make

Applicable Mental Edge’s to Stretch You as a Captain

Mental Edge: How to improve the skills of team captains

Mental Edge: Do you leave leadership skills to chance?

Mental Edge: 10 Ways to take responsibility and keep moving forwards

Click the button below to join The Sports Psychology Hub a Facebook group that David hosts to help ambitious athletes, serious sport coaches, sporting parents, sports psychologists and mental game coaches to support each other.



Also, kindly consider taking the 60-seconds it takes to leave an honest review and rating for the podcast on iTunes, they’re extremely helpful when it comes to the ranking of the show and we read every single one of them!

David Charlton

Best Wishes 

David Charlton

Global Sports Psychologist who is located near Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK and willing to travel Internationally.  David also uses online video conferencing software (Zoom, Facetime, WhatsApp) on a regular basis and has clients who he has supported in USA, Canada, South America, UAE, Australian and New Zealand.  

Managing Director – Inspiring Sporting Excellence and Founder of The Sports Psychology Hub.  With over 10 years experience supporting athletes, coaches, parents and teams to achieve their goals, quickly.   

T: +44 7734 697769

E: [email protected]

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