|The term LEADERSHIP may be easily defined in today's society but is arguably, a hard skill to develop. Most people are quick to make claims that they are a good leader or even an exceptional leader but many fail to live up to their own hype. A good leader:
- leads by example, walks the walk and talks the talk
- does not engage in self-promotion
- makes solid decisions, the right decisions, and can make the tough decisions
- has the ability to influence others in a positive manner
- has the ability to motive and inspire others
In athletics, it is pretty easy to determine who the leaders and followers are on a team or in a sport. Generally speaking, the leader is usually the best athlete on the team, the hardest worker on the team, or the most vocal on a team. But this is NOT always the case. Leadership is not about one person as no one can be successful without the help of others so leadership is often about team effort. In order to understand leadership and to teach leadership, one needs to understand what makes a student-athlete a leader and why other student-athletes view that person as a leader.
Like any major organization, the NCAA, and member institutions such as the University of Maryland, is committed to the development of emergent student-athlete leaders. The leadership component of the SWCD is committed to:
- developing an understanding of the complex nature of leadership and how it is demonstrated in the athletic arena and in everyday life;
- developing an understanding of the concept and working nature of servant leadership within the team, Athletics Department and local community;
- identify a group of emerging student-athlete leaders who understand the ethical component of leadership: and
- develop a strong interworking relationship between emerging leaders and senior team captains
The SWCD will continue to develop a leadership series that will best serve all Maryland student-athletes while developing strong leaders who will contribute to life on campus and in the local, state, and global economies. Listed below are some of the leadership training opportunities that Maryland student-athletes have participated:
Division I Regional Leadership Conference
The NCAA Division I Regional Leadership Conference traditionally provides student-athletes, coaches and administrators with pertinent and customized sessions that teach the leadership skills needed to impact student-athlete development on campus, at the conference level and NCAA levels. Sessions offered at the conference will enable participants to develop a greater understanding of the NCAA, the Division I governance and legislation process, and the Division I National Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). Other issues like such as sportsmanship, diversity, nutrition, and mental health will allow participants to explore how to play a more active role in reference to these critical topics. Using the knowledge gained at the conference, participants will set out to create positive and lasting change throughout the NCAA structure, their communities and globally. This is a three-day, weekend conference and is provided at no cost to all institutions that are eligible to attend.
APPLE, Athletic Prevention Programming and Leadership Education
The Athletic Prevention Programming and Leadership Education (APPLE) conference provides training to an "athletic prevention team" on the APPLE model, a comprehensive design for improving substance abuse prevention programming and policies in the athletics department. The athletic prevention team may include, but is not limited to, athletics administrators, athletic trainers, life skills coordinators, coaches, and health educators and must include at least two student-athletes. The seven impact areas are known as the "slices of the APPLE" and include recruitment practices; polices; drug testing; tobacco and other drug-education programs; sanctioning; referral and counseling; and exceptions and attitudes.