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Intelligencer Journal/New Era (Lancaster, Pennsylvania)
Franklin & Marshall's Athletic Leadership Council (ALC) held the second annual Lancaster-Lebanon League Leadership Day Sunday afternoon at the Mayser Center. All 24 L-L League schools were represented at the event, with each program's athletic director choosing four student-athletes to attend the workshop.
The ALC, composed of members of F&M's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and captains from the school's intercollegiate teams, presented their high school counterparts with a look into athletics on the collegiate level while discussing the keys to being a better leader.
"All of our student-athletes learn not only on the field but also in the classroom - and in addition to that we have a leadership institute - where we teach them what it means to be a leader, what it means to be accountable," said F&M Athletic Director Patricia S.W. Epps. "This is their opportunity to teach the local high school students the lessons they have learned and hopefully infuse them with the desire to continue in their athletic pursuits and also to continue in their academic pursuits."
The idea for the workshop came from Penn Manor Athletic Director Jeff Roth, who worked with the athletic department at F&M to establish a program to get high school students more involved.
"Last year was the first year we did it so kids were tentative and they were developing the different activities they were doing," said Roth. "This year, I've noticed the first couple (discussions) that they've done already, it's much more interactive and the kids are into it, so I think it's going to be much more positive today for the kids. Most of them are probably sophomores and juniors so we would be looking at them being next year's leaders for our teams."
After a pair of speeches from F&M athletes, the program broke into smaller groups for a deeper discussion on topics including communication, goal setting, types of leadership and leaders, personal and team values and proper conduct on and off the field, with a special focus on social media.
While looking to get each student's insight, each section also employed a number of different games to keep the participants engaged. Members of the communication group were paired off and tasked with describing an image to their partners, who had to replicate the drawing based only on the clues he or she received.
These activities got the students involved, but the L-L athletes seemed to get the most out of just talking with their elders.
"It's good to hear from a college student to a high school student, especially as I'm preparing to start searching for colleges," Pequea Valley field hockey and softball player Devon Malloy said. "It's really nice to have their experience handed down to me before I get started."
"One of the seniors talked about his leadership experiences and he said that he really thinks that leadership is like a reverse pyramid," Malloy continued. "With the leaders on the bottom then, they should be the ones picking up gear after practice and I just thought that was really interesting and meaningful."