Hoping to create “true leaders” for the softball program, Coach Tadlock, LRHS varsity softball coach, created the Leadership Academy, with some of the varsity softball players as members.
“[Coaches] teach their athletes plays, fundamentals and game strategy, but rarely help develop and teach them skills to be effective leaders–yet expect them to be Captains/Leaders etc,” said Tadlock, via e-mail.
This prompted the formation of the Leadership Academy.
The current members of the Leadership Academy include, Merritt Murray, sophomore, Martha Calvert, junior, Katie Salzmann, senior, Brittany Belscher, senior, Kaitlyn O’Shea, senior, and myself.
As a member of the Leadership Academy, I have learned skills in self-leadership, demonstrative leadership, and vocal leadership.
Leadership Academy teaches these skills by placing the members in controlled situations where they can exercise new knowledge.
For example, some of the activities we do include having discussions about what it means to be a leader and how to achieve it, using ice-breakers to form stronger team bonds, and playing games that put leadership skills into action.
Heading up the Leadership Academy is Coach Jock Murray of the Jock Murray Group.
J. Murray, via phone interview, said, “My role is to lead the formal instructional parts of the Leadership Academy. Coach Tadlock’s role is to incorporate the lessons into real life and help [the members] apply the lessons on and off the field.”
J. Murray sparks the discussions and creates the games that the Leadership Academy utilizes.
Meeting once a month, we go over various topics, ranging from the definition of leadership, how to be a good leader, how to lead by example, and how to be a successful vocal leader.
“At Leadership Academy, the style of leadership we teach is servant leadership. It’s says that the job of the leader is to help the other people on the team be successful. Great teams have great leaders, so if you learn to be great servant leaders, you can help bring out great servant leaders in everyone else on the team,” said J. Murray, via phone interview.
Through these servant leadership lessons, I have learned how I can empower the rest of the team through my words and actions. I now know how crucial leaders are to any successful program and how they impact the team by upholding high standards.
M. Murray said, “When you have a number of people who can step up and pull their weight on the team, it helps everyone to step up and do their part. This will help us become the best team that we can be.”
J. Murray, via phone conversation, said, “If everyone on the team helps everyone else get better, it helps the team rise to a new level of excellence, and it creates a stronger team.”
“What would America be without the president? In the same sense, what would good a team be without good leaders,” said Calvert.
As the Leadership Academy, we hope to help transform the softball program into something phenomenal. We know that a great team is formed starting with a solid core, and that if we can put the things we learn in Leadership Academy into action during the season, the softball program will become more memorable.