NorthWood was very excited for the opportunity to take a handful of student-athletes to the 2019 Northern Lakes Conference Sportsmanship Summit this afternoon at Grace College! Grace College Athletic Director Chad Briscoe led the event to build character and to promote sportsmanship within the lives of our student-athletes. It was a great opportunity to educate, reinforce character education and promote the importance of sportsmanship to our athletes.
This year we were fortunate enough to send nine student-athletes to the summit. Reese Barhydt, Annika Bennett, Blake Herr, Lili Lomeli, Treyton Martin, Emma Martz, Nate Newcomer, Jacob Raasch, and Cybil Stillson.
Upon arrival, the student-athletes met and engaged with the other student-athletes from the other NLC schools. Coach Briscoe led them in icebreakers and great question and answer sessions on how to manage time, peer pressure, and various conflicts surrounding their teams. Lake City Media Group’s very own Roger Grossman led a discussion on social media etiquette. This conversation is always needed and very relevant! The fact of the matter is that young adults are losing out on scholarships and jobs because of things they have posted from years ago. We learned that before we post, we should ask ourselves:
- Does it solve the problem?
- Does it help the situation?
- Will you have to apologize for it later?
They were also able to hear from two current Grace student-athletes. Martin Schiele is a senior and member of the men’s basketball program who had a great story of perseverance. Our student-athletes connected with his message about being a trendsetter and learning to stick out for the right reasons. The other is Kye Barrett who is a freshman on the men’s tennis team. Kye last year was a member of the IHSAA Student Advisory Committee and was very active in Unified Athletics, a program that we are developing here at NorthWood. Both young men did a fantastic job sharing a bit about their growth and experience in college and the importance of character in their lives as a student-athlete.
The students would also hear from Dr. Graham and Coach Briscoe on conflict resolution and servant leadership. Both were very knowledgeable and passionate. Dr. Graham talked about how conflicts are going to happen. It is a fact of life that there will be situations and conversations that will bring conflict. How do we deal with those situations and conversations? Ask questions. The two that were suggested: Why does this matter to you? Have you felt this way before? These will typically lead to a great discussion about why people react or feel the way they do about a situation. Coach Briscoe gave very relevant examples of acts of servant leadership. Small things like hellos, sitting with strangers at lunch, and having genuine conversations make huge differences. “If you want people to support your program, learn to support others.”
After the afternoon of quality discussion and great learning, it was great to bring our students back to the school and talk about action! What is next? The nine we took for the afternoon reiterated much of what was shared at the summit. They also were eager to find ways to expand their platform as student-athletes to conduct positive change in our school. It was encouraging to see them so engaged in the learning! Great things are to come from these young Panthers, I have no doubt!
Many thanks to Grace College and the NLC Athletic Directors for making this opportunity possible for our young student-athletes!