Dan writes: On a recent school visit, I met the author Declan Gane, who has written a wonderful book, full of top tips from sports stars all about the art of leadership in sport. I was so impressed, I asked Declan if he would kindly share some of those tips with readers of my website….


Introduction by Declan Gane

When I was coaching my son Louis’s team I used to hear, “Can I be captain?” after every skills focus session, just before we played a training match. Loads of kids always wanted to be in charge and skipper the team. Some were naturals, but others I used to see learning, so week by week they got better and better at inspiring and motivating their teammates.

I wrote ‘So You Want To Be Captain?’ to help Louis and all of the future captains out there. It is a great little handbook for wannabe sports stars, packed full of tips from some of the best captains in the world. I’m sure Jamie Johnson has a copy tucked away inside his kit bag…

To celebrate the Rugby World Cup 2015, here’s what former captain Martin Corry has to say:


Lead from the front – No one expects you to be the best at everything, but do what you can do to the best of your ability with the maximum enthusiasm and determination.

Be honest – Don’t change your personality because someone has given you responsibility and when tough decisions need to be made don’t take the easy option or tell a convenient half truth, say it how it is. You need to earn respect, not demand it.

Best of luck,


Fact File:

Martin Corry captained Leicester Tigers to three grand finals and lifted the Guinness Premiership and EDF Energy Cup, a first Double in the professional era. The following year he captained England in the crucial pool games at his third Rugby World Cup in 2007, leading a team that had been written off by everyone through the knockout stages. England went on to beat Australia in the quarter finals and France in the semi-finals, before losing a tight final to South Africa. Martin won 64 caps for England and toured Australia and New Zealand with the British and Irish Lions.

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Declan Gane is the author of ‘So You Want To Be Captain?’

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