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Basketball co-captains have different styles, similar focus

BY J.T. BUGOS | JULY 16, 2009 7:15 AM

There are many different ways to lead. Some people are quiet and prefer to lead by example. Some are loud and prefer to rally others with their words. Bob Knight threw chairs.

All can be effective.

For Iowa cocaptains Jarryd Cole and Devan Bawinkel, it’s about combining their respective styles.
Cole describes his leadership approach as more vocal. He will be the guy who gets everybody excited and fired up to play.

“I have to be vocal, because that’s part of encouraging,” the Hawkeye junior said. “I have to push others to do well.”

Bawinkel will be the calm leader. He will tell everyone where to be and when to be there, while also showing the younger players the importance of good character.

“I’m a little more quiet,” Iowa’s lone senior said. “I’ll get the job done, but I don’t need to be loud about it.”

Even though they have differing approaches, Cole and Bawinkel are on the same page. Both realize when it comes down to it, actions speak louder than words. They know they both have to show up and work hard every day. Leading by example will be an important part of helping a young team grow.

An essential part of the Hawkeyes’ maturation process comes this summer. Cole and Bawinkel are in charge of making sure all the players show up to team events. Hitting the weight room, open gyms, workouts, and summer league are all on the schedule. The Hawkeye cocaptains are responsible for making sure their teammates show up and go all out.

“I’m going to be there for the guys, improve my game and help them improve theirs,” Cole said. “I’ll do whatever I have to do to get the Hawkeyes moving in a positive direction.”

Cole was a team captain last year and learned a lot about how to move in that positive direction. One important thing he learned was how to talk to people and inspire them without pushing their buttons. Some people have to be approached one way, and other people must be approached in an entirely different manner in order for it to be effective.

“Certain people need different ways to be motivated,” Cole said. “It’s real key to know what you can and can’t do with certain people, and how far you can go with certain people.”

Both Cole and Bawinkel have embraced the chance to lead their teammates.

“It’s a great feat, and I accept it whole-heartedly,” Cole said. “I know it’s not all on my shoulders, but I have to prove myself to the guys so they have something to follow.”

For Bawinkel, being named captain was the silver lining to his long collegiate basketball journey. He started off at West Virginia, then went to junior college, and arrived at Iowa last year.

“It’s pretty much the icing on the cake to be named captain my senior year,” Bawinkel said. “So it shows that going through all of that, good things can come out of it.”

Both captains also are aware that the voices of their teammates can’t be ignored. Everybody has a say, and everybody has a role. Being a captain is more or less a label to give some direction.

“The guys have been doing a great job,” Cole said. “I’m going to keep leading if they’re going to keep following.”


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