SOUTH ABINGTON TWP. — Abington Heights students were provided with suggestions and insights to improve their performance and leadership skills as athletes in their respective sports during a “Triple Impact Competitor” interactive workshop, hosted by the Bochicchio Initiative Committee on Aug. 6 in the high school auditorium.
The workshop was geared toward helping athletes elevate their game and become better competitors to make themselves, their teammates and the game better.
Rising senior Dominique Emmett, a softball player who will serve as a captain for the first time in the upcoming season, took valuable insights from the workshop she plans to utilize with the team.
“I can definitely apply some things from the goal-setting portion to my teammates,” Emmett said. “I can try to help my team set good goals that are more team-oriented and less individual. The leadership part was also very important for me because I want to be an effective leader and be more positive.”
Abington Heights Athletic Director Randy Hanyon believes the program offered beneficial advice students can use in both high school and future endeavors.
“We’re preparing kids for leadership roles in the future and they’re learning they don’t have to be named captain to take part in some type of leadership,” Hanyon said. “Leadership is first and foremost about being a team player. The kids are learning when they step out into their careers and college environments there are a lot of different ways they can be a leader, gain knowledge and create great experiences for themselves in everything they do.”
Hanyon also believes the “Triple Impact Competitor” program, coupled with the district’s captains’ leadership workshop, will help better prepare captains for their role as leaders of a team.
“We’ve put captains out there and never told them exactly what was expected from them,” Hanyon said. “(Through the captains’ workshop), we meet with them once a week and talk about public speaking, conflict resolution and the qualities and skills of a leader. The captains talk about what they’re doing within the team to create a culture and expectation of the environment they want for their teams.”
According to Tomm Evans, a member of the Bochicchio Initiative Committee and Positive Coaching Alliance trainer, the main goals of the workshop are to encourage athletes to work on their own game, help others improve and respect the sport.
“We really stress the independence of the athlete in charge of their own improvement, as well as their responsibility to make their teammates and the game better than when they found it,” Evans said.
Evans chose to give specific attention to the topic of hazing and bullying after taking a poll of students in the audience.
“I was a little surprised at how young the audience was for so many of them to have a hazing experience,” Evans said. “I spent a little extra time in that part of the workshop because they seemed to have a lot of experience with it. I hope they realize they can stand up for themselves and for their teammates in those circumstances. It’s very hard if you’re the new person to stand up and say I’m not going to do that, but as these (student-athletes) become the leaders on their teams, it’s important for them to realize they can stand up and stop these foolish rituals that have no value and don’t bring teams closer.”
Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.