Trinity Athletes Conduct Leadership Conference

Putting their experience and knowledge into practice as members of Trinity’s Athletics Leadership Program for Student-Athletes (ALPS ), Tyler Sroczynski ’18 (Dyer, Indiana), Caleb Jonkman ‘18 (Gary, Indiana), and Tyler Van Elst ’18 (Grandville, Michigan), along with ALPS director Brittany Lee, conducted a leadership conference at Lowell High School in Indiana.  The event brought together nearly 70 high school students, 10-12 student-athletes from the six schools in the Northwest Crossroads Conference, to talk about leadership and to create a space to dialogue, share thoughts, and provide leadership training. The ALPS leaders used material and information from their own leadership meetings and focused on three key ideas of confidence, motivation, and communication.  Their goal was to help the high school student-athletes better understand what positive leadership is and how to better lead their teams.  

“The conference was a positive experience for all,” said Sroczynski. “The students were eager to learn which made it worthwhile for them as well as for me. They came away with something to think about and I learned things from them.”

In the opening session the ALPS leaders guided the participants in a discussion about the qualities of a leader and the value of being a positive leader. The high school student-athletes were able to share their ideas about what leadership looks like, how they view themselves as a leader, and also to reflect on leaders in their lives.

That discussion was followed by team building activities that allowed the students from the various schools to interact as well as to understand group dynamics and how it relates to their own teams.
After a time of lunch and fellowship the ALPS leaders led a question and answer period. The Trinity athletes were able to communicate what they were doing in terms of leadership on their respective teams and give perspectives from the sports they represented.  Through personal stories, they were able to relate both successes and failures.

The discussion continued in smaller group settings that allowed for more informal conversations about leadership, athletics, and college in general.  The three Trinity athletes were able to share personal experiences and talk about people who influenced them.  

“I enjoyed the question and answer portion in which we were able to provide insight and stories from our experiences and also build relationships with the students,” said Jonkman. “In sharing my thoughts and experiences it was cool to see my athletics experience come around full circle.”

Van Elst echoed the positive sentiments and commented, “The athletes were engaged in the material and discussions. I enjoyed interacting with them, being able to share my leadership style, and learning from them.”