Captains hold team together

first_imgGREGORY DIXON/Herald photoThe Wisconsin women?s hockey team ? winner of two straight National Championships ? believes one constant has boosted their program in recent years: leadership.For captain Emily Morris and alternate captains Jinelle Zaugg and Jessie Vetter, they couldn?t be more proud to be the leaders of the 2007-08 Badgers.?It was quite an honor,? Zaugg said of being elected alternate captain. ?There were great leaders here when I was an underclassman, and I hope that I can help the team have the success we have had the past two seasons.?Being a captain, however, is a very loose term. It can be approached in very different ways, according to head coach Mark Johnson.?There is a lot of little things that a captain does, but there isn?t an itinerary of one through 10 for what a captain is supposed to do,? Johnson said. ?The most important thing is that they need to have a pulse on the team throughout the season, provide the younger players with advice and overall just be mentors for the team. They are experienced, and they have been through all of the situations.??It is a long season, so if they keep everyone on an even keel, then they are doing their job.?The captains? teammates believe that the three leaders have done a great job of keeping together the Badger team that has gone 21-7-2 this season.?Being a captain on the team, it is really crucial to speak up when the team isn?t coming together,? junior Erika Lawler said. ?Those three do a great job solving communication issues, whether it is communication between players and the coaches, or players and other players. All three of them have the respect of the team and the respect of the coaches, and I think these three were chosen because of how well they fulfill that role.?While the team respects all three captains, each has a very unique leadership style. Morris, for instance, is considered to be the most vocal of the three.?When something needs to be said, I am not one to just let it go by without comment,? Morris said. ?I like to speak my mind, and if the team looks sluggish I will let them know about it.?Zaugg and Vetter, on the other hand, prefer to let their actions speak louder than their words.?Vetter and I try to lead by example,? Zaugg said. ?I usually shouldn?t say what is on my mind during a game, so we leave the locker room stuff to Morris. Vetter and I try to work hard, prepare properly, and I think the rest of the team feeds off that and follows suit.?While each of them leads with a different style, they all try to emphasize the same thing when they are teaching.?The number one thing I try to teach is you have to be having fun,? Zaugg said. ?Whether it is in practice or in the games, if you are not having fun, you are not going to be playing to the best of your abilities, and for our team I think that while you need to work hard in practice, you have to have fun too. Otherwise, your hard work won?t pay off during the game.??There are two things I really emphasize as a captain,? Morris added. ?Having fun is the main one, because it is a game, and we always need to remember that. The other thing is positive reinforcement. I was given some advice from some close friends, and they said positive reinforcement breeds positive performance. I have really taken that to heart and tried to make that my focus.?Whatever their methods are, Morris, Zaugg and Vetter have won over the hearts and respect of their teammates.?The most important part of being a leader is how you conduct yourself, and those three have shown all the maturity in the world leading this team,? Lawler said. ?Whether it is on the ice or in the locker room, the team listens to what they have to say because of how they handle themselves.?last_img