Next Up: Emerging Leaders Meet at KU Leads Leadership Retreat
KU Leads and the next wave of Kansas student-athlete leaders recently embarked on the fall session of the Leadership Retreat, a biannual event designed to prepare student-athletes for leadership positions and empower them to enact positive change within individual teams as well as across the department.
Part of the overall mission of KU Leads is to assist coaches with a seamless leadership transfer between existing captains and emergent sophomore and junior leaders and the Leadership Retreat is one step in that process.
“It’s important to know what makes people tick and working together with all the different teams was really awesome,” Sophia Templin, a junior on the softball team, said. “We learned about each others’ values and how we work together and I’m really excited to take that back to the softball team.”
Once near the end of the fall semester and once during the summer term, coaches of “off season” sports are asked to select student-athletes they feel have demonstrated leadership potential in the past and will likely fill a leadership position in the future. Those selected student-athletes subsequently take part in an intense, highly interactive and energetic leadership enhancement experience in the form of a leadership retreat.
“It made me realize that I could be a leader,” Tre Daniels, a sophomore sprinter on the track team, said. “One of the activities we did helped reiterate the fact that I’m appreciated and it helped me accept the role of being a leader.”
During the retreat, student-athletes explore personal strengths and develop strategies to become more effective leaders as well as practice teamwork, effective communication, ethical decision making, and dealing with change.
“Something that I took away from the weekend was a greater understanding of my values,” Joven Afenir, a junior member of the baseball team, said. “It allowed me to think about what I’m good at and what I’m not. I can grow as a leader, but I can help other leaders grow as well. I’m excited to take back all the information that I learned and help my team win.”
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