Baylor Athletics Unveils Leadership Academy For Its Student-Athletes

Aug. 21, 2007

With a goal of developing its student-athletes as effective team leaders today and successful worldwide leaders for tomorrow, the Baylor Athletics Department has created a comprehensive leadership development program for all of its student-athletes, Director of Athletics Ian McCaw announced Tuesday.

"I am thrilled that Baylor has become the sixth institution nationally and first in the Big 12 to establish a Leadership Academy for its student-athletes and teams with Jeff Janssen. Jeff is an internationally recognized leadership trainer and Baylor Athletics is certain to garner widespread benefits from his expertise," McCaw said.

"Character and leadership development are hallmarks of Baylor and the Leadership Academy will enhance the experience of our student-athletes and afford them benefits that will last a lifetime," he added.

The Baylor Leadership Academy will provide comprehensive leadership development for the school's nearly 450 student-athletes in 18 intercollegiate athletic programs. With the scope and depth of the leadership training, the Leadership Academy distinguishes Baylor as having one of the finest leadership development programs targeted to student-athletes. Leadership development programming for Baylor student-athletes targets three specific groups based upon their classification as well as their readiness to assume leadership roles.

The Baylor Leadership Academy groups, which will hold their first meetings next week, include:

Freshmen Leaders

Leadership training begins in the freshmen year. All freshmen student-athletes are taught the essential first step in leadership training - self leadership. Training consists of weekly meetings featuring keynote speakers and small group discussions. Special focus is on character building and making good choices.

Emerging Leaders

The Emerging Leaders program is designed for a select group of high potential sophomore and junior student-athletes who are selected by their head coach. The academy programming provides these prospective leaders with the insights, strategies, and skills necessary to become effective leaders on their team, on campus, and in the community. Through on-going workshops, interactive exercises, and various readings, the Emerging Leaders program provides a strong foundation for student-athletes to develop into effective team leaders.

Veteran Leaders

The Veteran Leaders program is designed for team captains and veteran student-athletes appointed by their head coach. The program provides these team leaders with advanced leadership training and support. The program assists student-athletes in developing the skills and knowledge critical to be an effective and vocal leader as they navigate the day-to-day responsibilities and challenges of team leadership.

In addition to the education, the Veteran Leaders program also provides these student-athlete leaders with a strong peer network to lean on and learn from throughout the program. These leaders will have the opportunity to share their lessons and experiences with one another. Graduates of the Veteran Leaders program will also receive special recognition from Baylor Athletics upon completion of the program to honor them for their service and commitment.

"We continue to look for ways to enhance out student-athlete personal development programs," said Baylor Associate Athletics Director of Internal Affairs and Leadership Academy Director Paul Bradshaw. "We believe that the Baylor Leadership Academy does this and really distinguishes us from other schools in the Big 12 and in our region. The purpose of the academy is to help develop our student-athletes as effective and vocal team leaders, now and in the future"

Academy instructors include Jeff Janssen, widely considered one of the nation's top experts on sports leadership and founder of Janssen Peak Performance; Shelley Johnson, a member of the Janssen Peak Performance staff, and Kevin Henry, Baylor's Director of Student-Athlete Development and a former basketball letterwinner for the Bears, plus other distinguished speakers on the topic of leadership.

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