Tuesday, Sept. 13, a Leadership Academy was held at Central Maine Community College in Auburn. The academy was organized and put on by the Sports Done Right pilot committee of Lewiston and Auburn schools. It included students from both Lewiston and Auburn High Schools and their middle schools.

After an introduction by athletic directors, Mr. Paul Amnott and Mr. Dan Deshaies, we were separated into five groups. The groups were a combination of different age groups and a mixture of schools. Then we were sent off to different stations. Throughout the morning we rotated from one station to another. There were five stations all together.

The first station was called “Spider Web.” What you had to do was get every person through the web without touching it. If you touched the web you had to be sent back through the web and start all over. You couldn’t use the same opening more than once, so you had to use strategy. You had to really trust the people that were picking you up and putting you through the web. I think this station was meant to work as a team and no one person could make the decisions. Everyone had to work and communicate in order to finish the challenge.

The second station was the “Leadership.” During the leadership station we learned what it takes to be a leader, a role model, a captain, and we discussed our expectations of a coach. We learned that to be a good leader you have to listen to others’ opinions and take in consideration what other people have to say even though you are the leader on the team. You have to be the one that stands out and talks to the coach about problems that the players might have. Being a leader on a team is a big part of success.

After going to the leadership station we went to “Role Play.” Some of the things we did at this activity was to act out bad coaching and bad spectators. One scenario was to have bad spectators at a soccer game yelling and being rude. This gave us a chance to talk and see how the fans, parents and other teammates might act. We also discussed ways to minimize the negative comments. One way was to simply ask them to stop. We need to remember that the athletes shouldn’t yell or threaten another player because their coaches are pushing them and the student athlete wants to do well and have fun too.

Another activity we did was “Communication.” In this activity, we played games to learn each other’s names. Then we did a jump rope game to learn to talk to others at the same time you are in the process of doing an activity. We all had to be lined up right and leave at the same time in order to get everyone across the jump rope at the same time. This taught us to talk with one another and work together as one there were no individuals.

After lunch we all got together and met as a large group. We had Bob Tewsksberry as a guest speaker. He told us about his growing up and how he made the big leagues. He also talked about how we should all have a plan, goals, and to work hard for them.

Tuesday was a good day to learn new ways to be a better leader and a way to learn how to get along and interact with people you do not know. This program should continue because we will get better leaders not only on the court and fields but in the classroom and the community. We think it is great Lewiston and Auburn are working together to do “Sports Done Right.”

As student athletes we want to win but we also want to have fun.

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