The valuable lessons student leaders have received over the last decade during Captains Clinics presented statewide by Michigan High School Athletic Association staff are now available to students nationwide and beyond as part of an online Captains Course produced by the MHSAA and available from the National Federation of State High School Associations on its Learning Center website..

The Captains Course, created over two years with assistance from Michigan State University’s Institute for the Study of Youth Sports (ISYS), is broken into 10 segments providing instruction on leadership styles and skills to how to handle situations faced by leaders of teams in any sport. A total of 20 past members of the MHSAA Student Advisory Council speak during the program, providing peer-to-peer guidance that has proven effective in student leadership campaigns.

In-Person Captains Clinics - Frequently Asked Questions

What topics are covered during the clinic?

Topics at each clinic include, but are not limited to, the role of a team captain, team building, motivating teammates, and communicating with teammates and coaches. Each clinic also ends with an action plan session where each student delegation creates a captains resource guide for all of the school’s team captains.

What is the format of the clinic?

The clinic starts with a large group workshop, and then moves to three smaller breakout sessions until lunch.  After an on-site lunch, students reconvene as a large group to develop a captain's resource guide with schoolmates.

What time does the clinic start and finish?

Each clinic starts at 9:00 a.m. and finishes by 1:30 p.m. Clinics are held Monday through Friday.

What is the cost?

A $25 per person registration fee is typically enough to cover supplies, rental costs, food expenses, and facilitator fees.

Who is the target audience?

This clinic is targeted to sophomore and juniors who have been or likely will be varsity team captains.

What schools are invited to the clinic?

Clinics are geared to schools within a single league or conference. We ask that there be a minimum of 8 participating schools and at least 75 students, although we can handle up to about 300 students.

Are student participants given the chance to interact with peers from other schools?

Some of the best outcomes of the clinic are the inter-school relationships built throughout the day.  The clinic encourages interaction among all students in attendance, as students will be separated from their own school group, giving them the chance to interact with students from rival schools.  It is a perfect way for athletes to meet each other off-the-court before competing on-the-court.

How many student athletes can attend?

The number of attendees per school depends on the size of the facility and the number of schools planning to attend. In general, though, schools can typically bring 8-10 students and administrators.

Who facilitates the breakout sessions?

The MHSAA worked with Michigan State University’s Youth Sports Institute to develop the Captains Clinic curriculum. The opening and closing sessions are led by MHSAA staff, while the breakout sessions are led by graduate and doctoral students from the Institute.

What is the role of adminstrators and coaches at the event?

Adults are welcomed and encouraged to participate in each of the sessions. In fact, administrators are very helpful to the students when completing the end of the day project.

What kinds of facilities can host this clinic?

We’ve held Captains Clinic in schools, hotels and banquet centers. We can be very flexible.  Ultimately, all we need is a room that can accommodate all the students at one time for the opening & closing sessions and lunch, and enough breakout rooms to hold 25-30 students each. If we use a school, we prefer to be in the school when students are NOT in session (like an in-service day).

We've hosted a clinic before, can we host again?

Absolutely you can host again. The format changes a little bit every year, and you will likely have a different group of students this time around.

MHSAA Captains Clinic Series

The MHSAA works closely with the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports at Michigan State University to provide pertinent curriculum that is geared toward developing leadership skills for current and future team captains.  Topics at each clinic include (but are not limited to):

  • Determining a Personal Leadership Profile
  • What You Need To Know About A Leader
  • Handling Common Team Problems
  • Answering Questions
  • Developing a Captains To-Do Guide.

The MHSAA is always looking for leagues & conferences that wish to host a Captains Clinic. Most of the work to set up the clinics is performed by MHSAA staff members.  We coordinate the registration process, book facilities, provide the curriculum and supplies, work with the caterers, and bring facilitators to the clinic.  We do, however, need league & conference help in three important areas:

  • Suggest possible sites to hold the conference – you know your area better than we do, and we'd prefer to be in a school on a PD day.
  • Work with schools in your league to determine the best date or dates for a clinic.
  • Make sure all of your league’s schools are willing and available to participate in the clinic.

That’s all you need to do – we do the rest.  Contact Andy Frushour or Paige Winne ASAP if you are interested in bringing this program to your league’s student-athletes – (517) 332-5046.

Upcoming Clinic Sites

We're currently scheduling future events. Let us know if you want to be on next school year's calendar.