Lifelong Leadership: Creating and Implementing a Leadership Development Event for High School Student Athletes

Samantha Monda, Robert Morris University, USA
Dana Voelker, The College at Brockport, State University of New York/DKV Performance Consulting, USA
Aimee Kimball, UPMC Sports Medicine, USA

Theme: Youth sport

Program ID: WKSP-01

Presentation: October 2, 2013 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Room: Elmwood


Amidst budgetary cuts in education, supporters of scholastic sport argue that high school athletic programs have the potential to facilitate the development of skills that can be employed throughout the lifespan (Danish, Forneris, & Wallace, 2005). Importantly, the literature suggests that life skills are best accrued through the sport experience if they are proactively taught (Weiss, 2008). Leadership has been noted to be valuable in sport, business, and other life domains, but research suggests that few formal opportunities exist in sport for athletes to develop this critical skill (Voelker, Gould, & Crawford, 2011). The purpose of this workshop is to provide attendees with information and resources to implement a formal leadership development event for high school student-athletes in their respective communities. Through the presentation of a model program, the Student-Athlete Leadership Academy (SALA), workshop attendees will (a) define their own leadership philosophy; (b) take a research-based approach to identify essential leadership skills; (c) identify local groups to partake in leadership training; and (d) work through the logistics of planning a large scale (200+) one-day leadership academy or a series of smaller workshops. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage in leadership building activities, participate in open discussion, and watch video of SALA in action. Participants will receive a planning guide that includes best practice suggestions for identifying program objectives, selecting collaborators, developing marketing ideas, and working within budgetary considerations. Research on youth leadership development will be presented to lay the foundation for the creation of a leadership training program. The information provided through this workshop will enable consultants take a theory-based approach to enhancing the performance, satisfaction, and personal development of young athletes, providing them with the tools necessary to be a positive influence in all areas of their life now and beyond high school.

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