From my experience coaching and playing sports, I’ve come to a few conclusions:
1. The best players aren’t usually the best coaches (more often than not they aren’t)
2. The best teams are the one who play together as a team the best; not necessarily the team with the best players
3. Captains of a team are the players who lead by example, encourage rather than complain, and aren’t necessarily the best players (although many times one of the captains is usually the best player on the team)
Now, when you go to pick your team, I would keep those 3 things in mind and approach it like so:
When you are picking the team, depending on how many players you have trying out, you will want to make more than one cut.
Say for example that you have 45 players trying out and you only have room for 25 on the team. The first cut should be done after a few tryouts and will be those players who are clearly not good enough to be on the team. The 2nd round of cuts should be based partly on skill and partly on where the player fits in on the team. And the final round of cuts should be based on where the player fits in on the team (as skill wise, these players are good enough to play, but the team dynamic is a big factor here).
You also want to look at potential. Some players will have more potential than others and it’s a good idea to pick these players if it comes down to a tough decision. By choosing the players who will be good next year or the year after, they will ensure success of your program; but you do want to have the best core team you can so don’t pick an entire team based on potential.
As for deciding who should pick the team, you should have those people be players who know the team the best and who won’t be influenced by their friendship with the other guys. I’ve seen many guys pick their friends although their friend didn’t really deserve a spot on the team.
The people choosing the team don’t necessarily have to be players but if you don’t have a full time coach, then you don’t really have a choice. Bringing in someone just to pick the team can be a tough thing to do. Accountability is key I think so by having your captains pick the team, it puts them in control and automatically commands respect from the other players which I think is a good dynamic to have.