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The athlete-to-captain relationship is the lifeblood of any functioning sports team. After all, the team captain essentially acts as a mediator between the other players and the coach. Some other jobs of a team captain include, but are not limited to: best friend, problem solver, bearer of bad news, etc. For example, if all the swimmers rebel because they do not like the type of kickboards the coach bought, or because the water is too cold, or because practice went over time, the captain has to be the one to convey the feelings of the team to the coach. In reality, team captains should be branded with a tattoo that says “Don’t shoot the messenger” on their chests, but unfortunately we have to put up with it all because we were chosen to be the coach’s right-hand-men (or women). Team captains can also never slip up. Any mess-up could result in the classic “But Noelle did it, and she’s Team Captain!!” If this happens, I suggest you hop on a plane, change your name, and start a nice shepherding farm in Scotland that will leave no paper trail.
My point is that a team captain must exhibit an immense amount of leadership and deal with the weight of extensive responsibility. Being a team captain has prepared me for a career in Public Relations in two ways.
Way one: Leadership. As a team captain I am in charge of a large group of people, some rooting for my failure. These people are counting on me to be able to help them with every problem they could possibly have. It’s very unrealistic that I would be able to fix your completely broken goggles, but I will try until my fingers bleed. Coping with such a conundrum mirrors the obligation of a Public Relations specialist, because as a Public Relations worker I will always be in charge of different clients — usually in times of trouble. And when they need something fixed, I’m going to be the one who fixes it.
Way two: Responsibility. As a team captain I am responsible for keeping all my teammates and my coach happy. I walk the very thin line of best friend to my fellow athletes and tattle tale to the coach. If a swimmer messes up big time, my hide gets tanned. Similarly, in Public Relations, I will be in charge of a person or a company. From that point on, I am responsible for keeping everyone in line and making sure they do not make any mistakes. If they make a mistake I will be the one deemed blameworthy. But I am determined not to let such tricky scenarios get the best of me. I want to put words to work; I want to represent clients expertly. I do my best work under pressure, when I must pull from all of my skills — leadership, responsibility, and communication — and execute with surefire precision.
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