Captains’ Academy promotes sportsmanship, leadership at schools

r Captains and student leaders from six high schools and seven junior high schools attended the Nebo School District’s recent Captains’ Academy. The purposes of the Captains’ Academy are to promote sportsmanship between the schools through the captains and leaders working together at the academy, to promote better relations between the students and athletes, to develop leadership through the academy activities, and to develop relationships with coaches and administrators as they present at each academy.

This fall’s Captains’ Academy included captains from girls’ soccer, football, cheer, boys’ golf, student council, volleyball, girls’ tennis, and girls’ and boys’ cross country.

Each high school sends a captain for each sport. The captains do not sit with their own school; rather, they sit with sport captains and leaders from other junior high and high schools. The captains listen to each presenter, and then work collaboratively to present their position and ideas back to the entire group.

District Student Services Coordinator Troy Bohling started the academy by welcoming the leaders from across Nebo School District including secondary school administration and athletic directors.

Coach John Webb led a discussion on sportsmanship and visited with the students. Coach Webb mentioned that students need to like what they do – not only like what they do, but love what they do and then realize that there is something bigger than them and be able to recognize that.

Athletic director Dave Boyack introduced “Sportsmanship” and the students collaborated again to answer the questions, “How can we as leaders instill sportsmanship at our school?” and “How can we instill better sportsmanship with the students?”

The second presentation was given by former NFL quarterback and former Springville High School football coach Scott Mitchell. Mitchell’s keynote speech was about being a leader. He emphasized that each captain should surround themselves with good people. Leaders need to be coachable. His final parting message was that words are everything and create over a 1,000 pictures. Words really do matter.

Steve Dudley, former athletic director at Spanish Fork High School, led a discussion on what makes a great leader through video clips and getting the captains to share back to the group.

Springville High athletic trainer Lisa Walker presented on her expertise in sports medicine and how it is an integral part of athletics. Intermountain Healthcare physical therapist John Peabody then stressed the importance of injury prevention. He reminded them about  how overuse such as too hard, too much, too early can cause injuries in the high school athlete.

Students said the following about their experience attending Captains’ Academy:

“We talked a lot about things that make a good captain and leader. It made me think of what I was doing right and what I could do better, which will help me and my team be better.”

“I didn’t really know how to be a team leader before this presentation. I came away with a lot of stuff about being a team leader.”

“I really liked getting to know the other girls soccer team captains, so I would suggest that we have more group activities so we can gain those captains as our friends. I really enjoyed Captains’ Academy. You guys are doing a great thing both for our community and for us!”

Troy Bohling, student services coordinator and organizer of these academies, said, “Captains’ Academy has provided a powerful forum for athletes and school leaders to discuss and implement essential leadership traits and the value of great sportsmanship as well as how to be safe and avoid unnecessary injuries.”

A big thank you to Laura Salazar, Communications Director at Intermountain Healthcare, for the delicious lunch provided for the captains and leaders.

Chris Baird
Chris Baird
Chris is a family man with a beautiful wife and four kids. Three Girls, One Boy. He enjoys playing basketball, being outdoors, and the old normal.

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