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Every team has their important position which is not limited to the role a player is assigned to but also the roles that may seem a little bit more trivial next to your amazing ace or quick-witted middle blockers.
Like every ship has a captain that directes it towards a certain goal, every volleyball team has his leader that helps them to withstands the most crucial times.
But what is it that differs the captain from all the other teammates?
What values and features does a captain have?
Does every captain convey the same image?
In today’s blogpost we will continue with the traits : The Brain, Trust, Value and matter of position.
Up until now the traits discussed were much more on the feeling side than on the logical side of things, but just as empathetic or motivating some captains can be there are others who are constantly watching and thinking.
Can you guess who those captains are?
Ding Dong – first one is Kuroo.
As we discussed earlier in his cheer he mentions the mind working, indicating that the flow of motions and the feeling to things should also include the mind working.
And we see that he embodies just that.
Kuroo is someone who constantly observes and watches especially in a match as needs to read the players to get a good guess where to block.
It doesn’t stay with observations only, he can read a person to an extent as he does with Bokuto, Tsukishima, Hinata and Daichi for example immediately knowing what kind of people they are.
He uses the right words to get them at the place he wants to and make them spill information they need.
Inside of a game he trusts Kenma as a setter who uses his brain, knowing his childhood friend as an observant and highly sensitive person regarding his surroundings.
Another obvious case of the captain squad in this category is again- Oikawa.
We see him in both games against Karasuno being highly focused.
In the first Seijoh vs Karasuno game he quickly found a counter measurement against their superhuman quick and used many ways to weaken their defense as for example targeting Tanaka for a long while and almost crushing him mentally.
Even prior to games he strategizes and watches the videos of his opponents, as well as adjusting his technique and tosses to the people around him while working out the best way to use their abilities.
His brain is in a constant hamster wheel which is clear when he uses the timeouts and breaks to just close his eyes for a bit and regain his focus.
Last one in the brain category is one of the new captains- Futakuchi.
As someone following in Moniwa’s footsteps he still makes sure to build a new team yet not reform the well-known iron wall strategy of his team.
In the manga Futakuchi is seen to watch Karasuno playing against other schools and especially in the Johzenji game he is shown to think along and analyse how they could possibly minimize the chances of their best attacks striking through.
He explains the changes in the team and sees the weaknesses immediately, talking about their all in all strategy and playstyle.
Still he has a lot to learn when it comes to handling his own team especially people like Koganegawa who are unpredictable and earnest to a great extent.
The bond of trust cannot be found in every team, despite a good teamwork and all in all solid relationship between everyone there is not always the perfect trust between the members.
Trusting and working together is not the same, someone you play with is not someone you have to trust, still you can trust someone you play with and that is shown in the dynamic those people present on the court.
Two teams who represent that perfect trust are Seijoh and Fukurodani.
Oikawa puts all his trust in his team members as he says the words “believe in me”, the second time he wanted to say it in the Karasuno vs Seijoh match they went ahead and replaced the sentence with “believe in us” taking Oikawa’s words and firing them right back.
Because they don’t want to show one-sided trust but that they trust Oikawa as their captain and fellow team member, who they believe in and are sure of that if it’s him he could pull it off.
Even when it comes to strategies, tactical approach, advice or criticism (of course the one not meant in a teasing way) his team members always listen closely to him and do not question him. Vice versa Oikawa knows that if his team mates do as well set something on their minds or figured something out he just nods and makes sure to give them the needed toss and trust.
The first years look up to him, the 2nd years respect him and the 3rd years have even greater trust since they know both his serious and quirky sides, yet they never doubted him as their captain.
Fukurodani has a similar but also very different trust relationship to their captain.
As mentioned, Bokuto’s emo mode when he is dejected is only possible in the first place since he is sure that his team will take over and handle it. If not he couldn’t easily let his moods take over since he is someone who is very competitive and hard-working.
Due to his unpredictable moods the team adjusted themselves and are ready to counter any hardships since the worst case scenario is Bokuto getting dejected and if they can handle that then anything is possible.
On the other hand, his team members can take this situation easy since they are strong and skilled, yet they are sure that Bokuto surely just needs a bit of time to come back fully energized as the Ace of Fukurodani.
Their trust in their captain scoring and recovering is what holds the team together, more than that they allow their usually strong looking captain to be vulnerable and help him back up just like he helps them recover the game again and make them look professional as well for handling his mood.
Even outside of the court managers and players alike, Fukurodani exactly knows what to say to Bokuto to get him hyped or dejected, which is only possible due to mutual understanding. The coach is aware of that fact as well, trusting the players that if something goes wrong either Bokuto as the ace and captain or the team can handle the problem at hand.
Again Daichi is a part of this category as he is the one his team trusts. When he was injured everyone trusted him to come back and as well handle given problems.
Karasuno can go wild because Daichi is there and probably is one of the few next to Sugawara and Ennoshita, who could stop them.
He is someone who doesn’t stand out much and next to his teammates he looks rather dull as some of the other schools mentioned, but they saw with their own eyes that he is the one who everyone trusts and the secret hero of the defense row,
But not only does Karasuno trust Daichi, he does trust them as well even if it’s not visible at first.
When they lost to Seijoh in the preliminaries, he was thinking of quitting and giving the second years the stage to sparkle, showing off their true worth and ability giving them the lead. He only could do that in such a situation since he trusted them with the current formation.
As he was injured he didn’t falter since he trusted them to take over especially Ennoshita who learned the pressure of a captain, the one who was the candidate for the captain position if Daichi had left.
All in all, being a captain doesn’t mean everyone shares the same values or traits.
Some captains are more of a pillar to their team to lean on as seen in Ushijima’s case while others are more on the brain side if compared to Kuroo.
But what they all share is the burden and responsibility that comes with a captain.
Especially Terushima, Futakuchi and Ennoshita show us that it’s much harder to be on the other side.
Terushima mentioned in season two when Daichi was lying on the floor injured and he was sitting at school meanwhile that the captain of Karasuno was the one who held them together and made them strong as he said “it’s their captain, isn’t it?”.
Yet a captain is not the one who stands alone and makes the whole team, it’s how the team and the captain work together.
In the end the captain can lead into a certain direction but if nobody follows then what is the point?
So all those traits mentioned can be found in one captain or another.
There is still a little connection to the captain and the position he plays.
We have for example our Setter category of captains Moniwa and Oikawa.
As earlier discussed there is something that both setters share and is seen much clearer due to their positions playing. They are the most empathetic captains next to Daichi and it could be since their position needs a clear understanding of their teammates and surrounding, a setter adapts to the player.
The toss is dependent on how the player feels and wants it, making them constantly observe and try to understand how their other fellow teammates feel.
Daichi is an exception in the Wing spiker category in which we see Futakuchi and Bokuto as well.
Those two are shown to be more dignified and stable when it comes to pressure, while Bokuto gets into his dejection mode it’s not the pressure of a game but his own self-doubts and perfectionism when it comes to his own skills that draw him in that corner.
They are more connected to their team even due to their position that is known to get the last hit in.
Daichi differs as the only one who is not an Ace, which could explain his more self-restraint nature.
Since we are talking about aces, Ushijima and Takeru are added to that category.
What they alle share as Aces despite their different positions is that they are more or less the center of the team and gain more attention even if it’s a little bit than the other members.
Even the teams are focussing their energy to make the aces work perfectly fine, we see that Takeru is the one who scores in a lot of time and is praised by his team and represents it, same with the others.
For Futakuchi it’s just slightly different since he became a captain and needed to take care of the new player, which takes more energy and time to adjust to the new team at hand.
Ushijima is the pillar of Shiratorizawa and we can see that him being an outside hitter makes him distanced when it comes to a certain connection that other teams have.
Terushima who is also an outside hitter is seen more as someone who fuels his team to have fun yet doesn’t show real team connection similar to Ushijima but still communicating differently as he is not as self-centered.
Last but not least Kuroo is the only middle-blocker captain in today’s blogpost which reflects his different ways of handling the team, making him unique in his traits.
He seems to have both connections to his team and in his talks it is shown he deeply cares about that but his sly and cunning nature make him as well someone to be alerted of, ally or opponent alike.
Maybe due to the middle-blocker being a position who can be both defensive and offensive at the same time, it could show his duality as a captain who induces hope and fear when needed.
What do you think are important traits of a captain?
And who would you assume to be the next captain when the current one leaves?
Meanwhile let me refill the next pot of tea for our hopefully not so long next blogpost
-Not enough blogposts for your tea? Here you go!-