On Wednesday, Dec. 8th, I had the pleasure of taking 4 of our student athletes to a Sportsmanship Summit held by the WIAA in Stevens Point. They were Paul Lindemann, Brianna Bessler, Jenna Lischka and Caleb Uhlhorn.
The first session of the day began at 9 a.m. with a brief welcome from WIAA Executive Director Stephanie Hauser, followed by morning keynote speaker Craig Hillier, professional speaker and author of Playing Beyond the Scoreboard. His energy and enthusiasm captivated the 400+ high school athletes in attendance and set the tone for the day.
Four 40-minute breakout sessions followed, beginning at 10 a.m. Each session was presented three times: 10 a.m., 10:50 a.m. and 11:40 a.m. The topics of the four sessions were:
“My Coach Plays Favorites” - Mark Horbinski of WON80
“Sportsmanship: The Official’s Perspective” - Thaddeaus Hilliard
“Setting Sportsmanship Guidelines for Parents” - Jenny Bandow
“Sportsmanship Student Roundtable Discussions” - LeVar Ridgeway & Union Grove S.A.L.T.
We were then given lunch and had a wrap up session which allowed us to head back to Manitowoc at around 1:30. During the wrap-up, I asked each of the 4 students to write down a thing or two that they got out of the day and could bring back to MLHS. Here are their thoughts:
I better understand how refs have to measure certain fouls and that one of their jobs is to prevent certain emotional outbreaks.
As a leader, I need to bring energy that is 1.5 steps higher than my team to make practice better.
I better understand accountability, like for football, being in the weight room or gym.
I will bring leadership in my actions and in the things I say by encouraging teammates.
Commitment to your sport will result in success and you’ll be able to reach your goals.
You don’t have to be a captain to be a good leader.
Being optimistic is a great quality.
Just showing up at practice isn’t enough to expect playing time and/or a starting position.
Overall, I think it was a great day to emphasize Sportsmanship as well as giving our student athletes some training in the area of Leadership. One piece that we are all looking forward to is the publication of the student videos. In the session by Jenny Bandow, groups of about 10 students got together and made videos to share with parents across the state. They should be fun and inciteful! I’ll make sure our students’ videos get shared when they come out.
We look forward to our next summit!