NCAA Student-Athlete Leadership Forum: Inclusion a Core Value for College Athletes

NCAA Student-Athlete Leadership Forum: Inclusion a Core Value for College Athletes


Welcome to the 2016 NCAA Student-Athlete Leadership Forum. 300 of the 460,000 NCAA student-athletes are in this room. Division I, II and III. That’s impressive. Cherish that moment. Take advantage of this. Become a better leader. We don’t want you holding anything back. The hash tag for the week will be LearnLead. All one word. Got that? The whole Forum is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. There’s a room of 30 people that are complete strangers. We just start out icebreakers, the usual, like “Hey, how’s it going? I’m Hayes Watson.” This is what we do, but we did it in a different fashion. The facilitators of our classes … it’s very clear that they’ve been trained to teach us and they know exactly what they’re talking about. It kind of just brings us all together and it makes us a lot closer as a whole. Everyday, in our groups, we discuss the leadership philosophy. And for me, when I was first asked that question, I had no idea what it was. But I think, the more we discuss it, and the more that we go through these exercises, the more I get to find out what type of leader I am. And what my leadership philosophy is. We discuss here in our groups, so everyone knows around you. Getting that natural feeling of wanting to serve. Here we go, ten minutes. Every bag needs a bear. Hey, it’s Natalie, Daniel and Josh and this bear to us means hope. It’s really nice to watch people that were really, really quiet the first, like, day and a half, leading tasks, being more open with the rest of the group. Sometimes being a leader is to be able to be courageous. To talk in front of people. And I’m not naturally like that. But then, because they gave us a platform, I felt comfortable. (music) What are core values? We were given a deck of cards and they had values that you personally hold true to yourself and you had to pick 5. Inclusion is very important in my opinion, due to the fact that everybody should enjoy the activities that everybody else are a part of. Nobody feels left out. Nobody feeling sad or down. I believe that respect is the first step in order to meet and understand a person. Without that first step, you probably would never really understand who they are. I actually learned a lot more from Jake. And when it comes to disabilities and how things work differently for a lot of different people. Your core values are what brings out your leadership skills. You never really know what someone has gone through in their lifetime, and I think that’s a really core value of the Leadership Forum in general. What we’re covering here, we want you to take it back to your university. Take it back to your conference. Take it back to your friends and your family. Someone passed it on to you and we want you all to pass it on to others. Honestly, I’m taking every single thing I’m learning here, writing it down. So that I can implement it into the “Wheelock Way.” How can I make you look towards your future?

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