INDIANAPOLIS---NCAA Division III student-athletes, athletics administrators and coaches will meet January 21-23 in Indianapolis to learn leadership skills and discuss opportunities and challenges that are specific to their division during the Division III Student-Athlete Regional Leadership Conference.
The mission of the Division III Student-Athlete Regional Leadership Conference is to prepare student-athletes for leadership in a diverse and dynamic society. Student-athletes, coaches and athletics administrators work together to facilitate critical dialogue, address Division III specific issues and create the partnerships needed to impact positive change at the campus, conference and divisional levels.
"The purpose is to encourage student-athletes to create positive change on campus," said Sarah Dufresne, assistant director of education outreach. "Student-athletes who attend this conference are encouraged to identify areas that are important to their campus, attend sessions about those issues and develop a plan of action to take back to their home campus."
Student-athletes will learn leadership tools, learn about the NCAA governance structure, the Division III philosophy, and the role the SAACs and the student-athlete voice have in the NCAA. There will also be several information sessions and team-building exercises.
The following sessions will also be offered:
As a result of their participation in the Division III Student-Athlete Regional Leadership Conference, attendees enhance their critical thinking and leadership skills; ability to work collaboratively with others; exposure to national, local and divisional issues; understanding of their role as student-athletes and administrators within the NCAA governance structure, their conference and on their campus.
- Creating an effective SAAC
- Improving an existing SAAC
- "Trust � Is it earned or should it just be given?" -- This session will break down the definition of trust and apply it to the relationships between student-athletes and their coaches, student-athlete to student-athlete and student-athlete to athletics administrators.
- "Don�t Bet On It: Sports Wagering in Collegiate Athletics" � This is an informative and interactive session in which speakers will provide a review of NCAA legislation and discuss the 2003 NCAA Gambling Survey. Presenters will address associated health risks as they relate to addictive and compulsive gambling behaviors .
- "Are You a Peak Performer?" � This session will focus on the nutritional needs of student-athletes from the standpoint of optimizing performance. Food choices, amounts and timing of eating as well as fluid strategies are essential components of training. Individualizing recommendations and goal setting can help student-athletes to maximize strength, speed, stamina and recovery and minimize the risk of injury.
- "Raising the Bar � Building a High Performing Athletic Team" � Talent alone is not the only key to winning. Team chemistry and mental toughness are critical to building a championship caliber team. This hands-on workshop is specifically designed for coaches and players who are committed to improving team atmosphere and the character development of each athlete. Each participant attending this workshop will learn first-hand specific team building activities that will enhance team chemistry, confidence, focus and mental toughness.
- "Building Athletic Communities Finding Common Ground and Embracing Differences" � This session will focus on an athletics program as a "community." Participants will learn how to build strong communities by reaching out to their teammates and helping them find common ground and unity as well as embracing each others� differences.
Attendees also enhance communication on campus between student-athletes, administrators and coaches; improve the wellbeing of student-athletes by engaging them in the examination of critical issues; share an understanding of what they learned with other student-athletes on campus; complete campus projects that meet established criteria; and submit a project evaluation form about their plan to NCAA staff.
The student-athletes attending the Division III Student Athlete Regional Leadership Conference represent a wide array of NCAA sports. Additionally, the Division III Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), which is the "voice of the student-athlete" within the NCAA governance structure, also will have a strong presence at the conference by facilitating select sessions.
The conference in Indianapolis will host student-athletes, athletics administrators and coaches affiliated with member institutions in the Midwest Region of the United States. Each institution may send two student-athletes (three, if one is an ethnic minority) and one coach or athletics administrator.
Upcoming Division III Student-Athlete Leadership Conferences include the West Region in October; Northeast Region in January 2006; South Region in October 2006; and Atlantic Region in January 2007.