Results from
Feedback for Duke Women’s Basketball Team Captains

November 28, 1999

This questionnaire was distributed to the Women's Basketball Team during the week of November 22, 1999. It was designed to explore how the captains' leadership role is perceived by the players and to give the captains (Georgia Schweitzer, Lauren Rice, and Missy West) some measure of the team's regard.

Specifically, it asked what the team would like to see more of or less of in the captains' leadership roles. The players assigned a rating to fourteen statements using a 5-point Likert scale in which a 4 or a 5 = more, a 3 = no change and a 2 or a 1 = less.

Thirteen of the players, including the three captains completed the instrument and 12 of the 13 players wrote in responses to the two open-ended questions.


What do the players want?

More individual feedback (from captain to player) and more responsibility for the players themselves. 

In four of the six highest scoring questions, the players appear to be saying:

"Share with us some of the decision-making, team responsibility, and looking for ways to improve our team".

The players, in their written comments below, speak highly of the captains and their performance. They give several specific examples to substantiate their perception. Once again, as in earlier surveys, they address the need for each player to be more proactive in seeking the support and counsel of the captains. How to facilitate this is obviously worth pursuing.

The ranked results are presented below in order by average score.

Overall, the total response by numerical ranking:
5s = 12%
4s = 32%
3s = 53%
2s &1 and NAs = 3%

A strong indicator of the captains' esteem among the players is that over half of the scores were 3s, a declaration for no change.

Questions in order by mean score:

1. (4.1) Moving the team toward everyone taking a greater share of team responsibility and authority. (One player assigned Georgia a 5 in this question.) 

2. (4.0) Giving feedback to team members.

3. (3.9) Helping players to focus and to improve their performance.

4. (3.8) Consulting regularly with players on team matters.

5. (3.7) Brainstorming with team members about ways to improve the team.

6. (3.6) Involving players in decision making.

7. (3.5) Anticipating need for change and helping team meet new challenges. 

8. (3.5) Empowering team members, e.g. pushing decision making down and 
involving other players in decision-making.

9. (3.4) Meeting regularly with the team.

10. (3.4) Encouraging team members to make decisions about their own play.

11. (3.4) Questioning assumptions or traditions held by team members, 
including the captains', to promote innovation and creativity.

12. (3.4) Facilitating team development, e.g. helping the team examine and 
overcome barriers to team effectiveness.

13. (3.3) Listening, in an active way, to others and their ideas.

14. (3.1) Working in helpful ways to resolve conflict in the team.

Written comments:

(These are "paired", i.e. response #1 to the first question is from the same person with the #1 response to the second question).

How have the captains helped improve the team's performance?  Identify a few specific actions and results):

1. On and off the court they set examples with which to follow. 
On the court:
Pushing yourselves to the max
Helping and encouraging players.
Off the court:
Working hard in classroom
Working hard in weightroom
Having team functions (dinner, party, movie, etc)

2. The captains provide the leadership during practice, esp. when we're having a bad practice. After coach has had enough she turns to captains to get the team together and finish a practice strong.

3. They've really pushed the underclassmen and have tried to show them what's expected. They' ve tried to be enthusiastic, motivational and leaders on the floor. A lot of times they stepped up when practice was going bad to take over. I think they've done a good job of going to a person who could be a potential problem and talking to them about it.

4.The captains have exemplified leadership in various ways. Georgia leads by example, i.e. her work ethic. Lauren keeps us loose. Missy is vocal! It is a nice balance!

5. Stay positive, never say "I don't want to be here" or "I want to go home early" - (they) brought team together during tough times.

6. They haven't. This is not negative because they have not done anything to hinder the team's performance either.

7. Pushed us individually.

8. By keeping energy level up.

9. Anytime we aren't playing focused or hard, our captains are always the 1st people to say something to try and pull us together again. They keep from being down on ourselves and help us to play as a team.

10. The captains have been very effective in addressing potential problems. For example, before season began they called a meeting addressing tardiness and being prepared before it became a problem that would hinder the team.

11. They talk before practice, encouraging us to talk as well.

12. Great leaders, encouraging.

What can team members do more of or less of to help the captains do
their job?

1. Go to captains with any problems or suggestions.

2. Team members can help share the leadership role being vocal. Communication is extremely important to this team and it needs to come from every player - not just the captains.

3. Let them lead you, let them motivate and inspire you. Be enthusiastic with them and let them help. Go to them if there are any problems that you made be afraid to address themselves.

4. Be receptive to what the captains have to say!

5. Be more understanding and give/show positive response.

6. Team members can express their thoughts and opinions more.

7. Not much.

8. Tell the captains what we feel.

9. Take advice - when the capt's try to help them, they should listen.

10. If team members see a problem that needs to be addressed, tell the captains early so that they can work on addressing it.

11. Listen.

12. Listen and trust them. Let them do their job.

Summary by John Lubans