Athletics Leadership Development Program
PROGRAM OBJECTIVES & BENEFITS:
• To teach leadership lessons and theories in order to prepare student-athletes to serve as captains and leaders on their W&L athletic teams
• To provide a supportive forum where team leaders can develop their leadership skills and discuss the challenges and rewards of their experiences
• To prepare participants to serve as leaders within their future communities and careers
• All participants who successfully complete this program will receive a certificate of completion and will be able to add the successful completion of this program to his/her resume
The program targets underclass varsity athletes who are interested in taking on a leadership role within their team and the University community. We aim to develop the necessary leadership skills in the early years of the collegiate experience so that the student-athletes will have developed the necessary tools to lead their teams through their upperclass years on campus. These learned skills will also enable graduates to assume leadership roles throughout their post-collegiate lives.
Participants are chosen through an application process each April and students will be notified of their selection to the program by early May. Participants are expected to attend monthly leadership development sessions in which leadership theories, skills and exercises will be explored and taught by program facilitators and scheduled special guests.
Short readings will be assigned prior to each session. It is expected that participants will come prepared to discuss these readings and how they connect to their team experiences. Participants are also expected to complete written reflections connecting program readings, discussions and activities with their real-life leadership experiences.
The program will also involve active learning experiences through the University's outdoor education program. Specifically this will include use of the Alpine Tower and participation in low ropes course experiences. Each participant will also actively organize and execute a community service project for his/her team by the end of the program.
The Athletics Leadership Development Program was created in 2002 by the athletic department and Scott Fechnay '69 when it was fully endowed by Scott and his wife Peggy Ann Eacho Fechnay. Scott was captain of the soccer team and is in the W&L Athletics Hall of Fame (2007 induction). He believed that he would have been a better leader if he had been trained in the skills of leadership in college rather than after graduation in the Navy's Flight Program.
The principles of leadership, sportsmanship, integrity and responsibility provide the W&L student-athlete with the ability to inspire, lead, motivate and set a positive example for their fellow teammates and the student body at large. The ultimate goal is to provide our students with the leadership skills that will enable them to be successful leaders as both students and graduates.
The program began with the establishment of a ropes course in 2002, which has recently been replaced with a new Alpine Tower, and has culminated in the development of this classroom leadership experience that began in September of 2013.