I’ve read a couple of articles by a guy called Sam Walker who writes for the Wall Street journal.
He’s written books on sports leadership. He’s researched many of the greatest teams in all types of sports throughout the world. Very interestingly He found that all the greatest teams had the same type of Captain.
Personality of each captain was introverted. They rarely gave Team talks. They hated the spotlight and talking to the media. Often when the team went out celebrating, the captain stayed at home. They refused to talk at sponsorship endorsements, etc.
Apparently each of them was driven by the same thing, the team ahead of self. Team achievement always ahead of personal accolades. They were willing to sacrifice themselves, physically, mentally, verbally, and publically for the teams achievements. These captains have been willing to take an opposition player out of the game, by causing physical harm on them, if they believed it would lead to the team’s goal. Ie. Roy Keane.
They rarely give team talks. But they were upfront, brutal with opinions, told it like it is, and never backed down from what they said. They also wanted the same feedback from the players. They used non-verbal communication a lot of the the time. If a player got a stare down from the captain, they knew exactly what they did wrong.
The players walked taller knowing that their captain ‘had their back’. Especially in the coaches meetings. It’s not unusual for the coach and captain to constantly clash.
The issue with these types of players is they are hard to identify. It often a huge gamble to give a player like this the captaincy. Imagine Paddy Ambrose being named the captain. There would be serious questions being asked, But IMO suits the criteria. The only other person I could think of was Hurley.
There’s a bit of a video below and he’s named the most underrated captains in history.