Last year the athletic directors in the Southern Buckeye Athletic and Academic Conference (SBAAC) decided to start hosting a leadership conference for student-athletes from the SBAAC. Although the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) does a conference on leadership in Columbus, but there are a lot of lectures and non-activity. The AD’s wanted something more active and local for our kids.
Ted Wiese is a speaker who specializes in speaking to young adults about qualities of leadership, how to be a better leader, and the small basic things they can do to be an effective leader. Ted’s program is mostly hands-on activities designed for the student-athletes that require them to work together, communicate, and put team above self.
A huge message from Ted is the phrase “I feel great!” Simple really, but when used often it helps the kids feel positive about what they are doing. The hope is they feel positive and rub off on their student bodies and help others feel positive.
Each SBAAC school selected six underclassman (84 total kids) who they thought had potential to develop into leaders in the class room and on their athletic field.
Blanchester, as this year’s host (Norwood hosted last year), I assigned each student-athlete to a specific table for the day; No two from one school sat together. One of the goals is to have the student-athletes branch out and interact with other kids.
Goshen and Athletic director Scott Wake was the co-host for the event; They also provided lunch.
It is amazing to watch the interactions of the students during the conference. Before the 9 a.m. start, the six individuals from the 12 league schools, were sitting in our bleachers by schools and not talking to other kids.
By the lunch break, the student athletes were working together, cheering each other on, and communicating great. Some activities were: having to escape a hula hoop while the group’s arms were linked together, having to build the tallest tower out of index cards, identifying music, acting out a type of machine by having members of the groups act as various parts of the machine, and many more.
The program ended just after 1 p.m. Many of the kids were slow to leave, as they continued interacting with each other, exchanging phone numbers, Instagram information and the like.
I feel that this conference is the best thing the SBAAC does collectively as a conference.
For more information on Ted Wiese and his “I Feel Great” curriculum, visit www.heartedtalk.com/index.php?pid=7.