The Institute for Sport, Spirituality and Character Development recently launched Leaders of the Knight—a leadership training program for Neumann University team captains and leaders. The goal of these workshops— which are based on leadership best practices and Neumann’s core values—is for student athletes to enhance their leadership abilities both on and off their perspective playing fields.
Marco Sifoni, Coordinator of Internal Programming in the ISSCD, facilitates this initiative. “My hope for the Leaders of the Knight program is to inspire our team leaders to reflect on their current culture and where they can improve upon it,” said Sifoni. “Ideally, student-athletes will realize that there is a lot more that goes into a championship culture than just great players and schemes. Reflection is a key component of these workshops. It’s important for students to increase their self-awareness so they can identify the tools they possess that can contribute to building a championship culture.”
Melanie Malseed, a key member on the Women’s Volleyball team believes these sessions will help her grow both as an individual and as a teammate. Malseed stated, “after experiencing the Leaders of the Knight sessions, I gained more awareness and knowledge of what it truly means to fill the leadership role. On the volleyball court, I know that as a leader I am being viewed as a role model based on my work ethic, my attitude, and my passion and intensity for the game, in the hopes that my teammates will follow along. I take pride in being looked at as a leader on the volleyball team and assisting my teammates to conquer our goals, build on our team bond/chemistry and remain as a family, and constantly work towards reaching a championship culture.”
The first two sessions were spent with the captains or leaders identified by their coaches from the fall sports teams. The focus was on ways to generate individual leadership traits while instilling a championship culture. Sessions will also be offered to winter and spring leaders throughout their perspective seasons. Knighthood Leadership is another initiative that infuses Neumann’s Core Values into leadership best practices and will be offered to student athletes at Neumann University who wish to strengthen their leadership abilities.