After a recent loss, our captain was upset with the team and telling us that we shouldn’t have been laughing or joking before the game. He also told us that if we’re supposed to be there 45 minutes early, we should try to get there an hour early.
I feel like it’s ridiculous that he thinks we shouldn’t be able to laugh and have fun. What should I do if he brings it up again?
It sounds to me like the point your captain is trying to make is that maybe some or all of you are not focused on the game. It’s not so much about not laughing or joking, but whether everyone on the team is thinking about what they need to be doing during games.
For example, if you guys should be thinking about warming up or “scouting” the opposing team, and instead, you’re poking at each other and cracking jokes, you’re attention is not where it should be.
Personally, I would try to work with him on it. Take a step back in your mind and look at what’s happening from “afar”. Are you guys goofing off a lot? Is it possible that it’s affecting the team? If so, maybe he has a point.
That’s the best advice.
Otherwise, the best option is to just let it go for now and see what happens.
If you really think you must talk with him, pull him aside privately and start by asking him what he meant and what his reasons were for saying it. Listen to what he has to say, then figure out how to respond. In fact, when you talk with him the first time, you don’t even really have to say anything; just listen to him. That way you have time to figure out what your response should be. Take both your opinion and his opinion into consideration and see if you can work out a compromise.