October 14, 2011

Holy Cross Athletics Creates Leadership Academy

WORCESTER, Mass. – Holy Cross director of athletics Richard M. Regan, Jr., announced today the creation of the Holy Cross Leadership Academy, a campus program specifically developed to support Crusader student-athletes in their quest to become world-class leaders in athletics, academics and life. Holy Cross is partnering with the Janssen Sports Leadership Center, the premier organization of its kind, to create the curriculum for the Academy.

 “We are very excited to begin what we see as one of the nation’s premier leadership programs in collegiate athletics,” said Regan. “We hope that not only will all our teams benefit greatly from the program, but that each participant will learn skills that will help them well beyond their time at Holy Cross.”

Every school in the Patriot League has committed to doing some form of leadership training this year, making it the first conference in the nation to create a comprehensive league-wide program. Approximately 120 Holy Cross student-athletes will participate in the program’s first year, broken into two groups – Emerging Leaders and Veteran Leaders. Each group consists of student-athletes from every varsity sport.

The Emerging Leaders group is designed to provide a select group of high potential sophomores and juniors with the insights, strategies and skills necessary to become effective leaders on their teams, on campus and in the community. The emphasis of the program is creating effective “leaders by example” while setting the stage for vocal leadership.

The Veteran Leaders group is designed to provide established (and future) team leaders with advanced leadership training and support. The program teaches the critical skills and insights necessary to be effective vocal leaders as student-athletes manage and conquer the day-to-day responsibilities and challenges of team leadership.

In addition, the varsity sport head coaches will also be meeting as a group to discuss the same issues being brought to their student-athletes. This group will focus on shaping a common “language of leadership” and learning to support and nurture the development of leadership in their student-athletes.

Each group will meet with a representative from the Janssen Sports Leadership Group four times per year – twice in the fall, and twice in the spring.  The first meeting for all three groups took place the week of Oct. 3 and was very successful and productive.

“I was impressed with the enthusiasm of the student-athletes and coaches at Holy Cross during our first workshops,” said Rebecca Ahlgren-Bedics of the Janssen Sports Leadership Center. “At Holy Cross, we have a solid foundation of leadership knowledge and skills on which to build and I am very excited to partner with them to take their leadership to the next level.”

Each member of the Leadership Academy will be provided with materials specific to their group, and all participants will receive a subscription to the “team captain’s network” website. Members of the Veteran Leaders group as well as the coaches were also provided with a copy of the Team Captain's Leadership Manual written by Jeff Janssen.

Click HERE to visit the Holy Cross Leadership Academy home page.