Book Review: The Captain Class

Book Reviews, Greatness

The Captain Class: A New Theory of Leadership by Sam Walker is a must-read if your youth athlete:

  • Wants to be a Captain and leader on his/her team
  • Isn’t the most talented player but plays hard every snap
  • Wants to win games

In other words, it’s a must-read for both parents and youth athletes. Walker set out to discover what makes the greatest teams of all-time the greatest. He originally believed that the biggest dynasties in sports were a credit to their coaches/managers, but through his research discovered that it was their team leaders that made them dominant.

Even more: only one of the 17 teams that qualified for his Tier One (greatest ever) classification featured a player considered the GOAT (greatest of all time) in his sport (Tom Brady, NFL’s New England Patriots), and only one of the 17 teams’ Captains was considered the best athlete on their team (Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs).

Oh, and I was just as shocked initially that Michael Jordan’s Bulls didn’t make the Tier One status, but after reading it, completely understand why.

In other words, being a legendary Captain wasn’t determined by your pure athletic talent or how big of a financial contract you were being paid.

I think that’s a valuable insight for any youth athlete. They need to understand from a young age that:

  1. You don’t have to be the biggest “household name” to have the greatest impact on your teammates.
  2. You don’t have to be the best athlete in order to be the best leader.

Walker does a fantastic job of exploring each team and their captain during crucial moments leading up to, during, and ending their historically dominant runs. Each chapter ends with summarized takeaways to provide you additional talking points and quick review.

Invest the time to read this leadership book, and you’ll learn (among other things):

  • The power of nonverbal body language as a leader
  • Talent alone isn’t what makes a leader – it’s something created choice by choice and day by day
  • Why teams – just like organizations – need a clearly defined “Captain” in order to excel.

Learn Walker’s seven core qualities of “Captain” leadership and how your youth athlete has the ability to embrace each and make an impact on his/her classmates, teammates, and future life.

Order The Captain Class here.


Last modified: June 2, 2019

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