June 22, 2020
2020 USA SWIMMING ATHLETE LEADERSHIP SUMMIT
Three of our WAVE athletes were invited to attend a summit discussing and strategizing different approaches to leadership in our sport. Congratulations Alex, Elaina and Jackson!!! All three were asked about their takeaways from this 3 hour conference and this is what they had to share:
I want to start off by thanking Coach Grace for sending me the information for the leadership summit because I wouldn’t have know about it if she hadn’t. I am so glad I got the opportunity to participate and be a breakout leader when we went into separate “rooms”! During the summit, we were put into and out of these rooms on the zoom where we could have discussions with other athletes in small groups. This was my favorite part of the zoom because we held discussions on different strategies of being leaders on our team and went through different scenarios and how we would respond to them as leaders. It was very interesting to see how all teams go through the same issues and/or experiences that we go through and how everyone handles them. When we weren’t in the breakout rooms and were as a whole group, they went through a powerpoint about how a coach’s and an athlete’s ideas on a good leader differ and how to be the most effective leader on your team. In this time, being out of the pool for so long, it has been and is going to be difficult getting back into the groove of things. The strategies that Elaina, Jackson, and I learned will help to set an example and inspire others to work hard and hopefully help regain a possible loss of motivation during this time. Overall, I think that the biggest take away from the zoom is the quote “Leadership is action not position.” -Marianne Williamson. We can all be leaders by setting a good example for others.
The most important message I took away from leadership camp is that there are so many different ways to be a leader. The way those I’ve been inspired by may lead in a completely different way than I do. And the best part, every form of leadership is useful and valid. There are many suggestions they told us to help improvement; but being a leader is putting yourself out there and putting in effort for your team, in whatever way you can.
From the Leadership seminar I attended I learned that people who normally are leaders are people who try to keep people in check, so they don't try to split the team in half, or try to push them off the team. They try to keep tensions low within the team. As well as keeping your moral high. Leaders of the team decide to try to lead practice, like being examples for the team during explanations, as well as being an example for others to follow, as well as being the leader even when it's not known to them. As being a leader and knowing the problem is the main part, if you do not know the problem inside out, as well as being the person that is causing the problem, like saying one thing could spark it, so being a leader is also a way of not sparking arguments, and accepting everyone into the team. So you don’t want to offend anyone, no matter what race, ethnicity, or sexuality.