With any successful sports team always comes a great leader. These leaders hold the team together and encourage their teammates through tough times. Athletes like Derek Jeter, Ray Lewis, Michael Jordan, and Tim Duncan have all displayed their strong leadership qualities throughout their careers.

Similarly, many athletes at Jesuit strive to become positive role models and leaders in order to help facilitate their teams’ success. In order to assist and encourage these leaders, Coach Grayson and Coach Koch created the Captain’s Huddle Leadership Academy to teach student athletes about the keys to being great leaders, as well as the burdens they might have to take on.

What is the Captain’s Huddle?

The Captain’s Huddle meets once per month, and in each meeting, students talk and learn about various skills leaders need, things like patience and dedication. Additionally, students often watch a relevant video or movie clip that ties to the overarching theme.

Coach Grayson

According to Coach Grayson, “the Captain’s Huddle was designed to provide leadership training opportunities for our players, as well as character development training 1 time per month.” This club was created “to give students a platform to enhance their ability to display good sportsmanship, to be an advocate for social justice, to embrace the role of being men for others, to lead by example, to progressively promote diverse leadership and character training, and to empower them to become leaders of the Jesuit community and the world.”

The Captain’s Huddle is comprised of student leaders who are on a variety of different athletic teams, as well as faculty members like Ms. Crowder and Mr. Yohannes who help provide spiritual guidance and leadership development. Coach Grayson runs the meetings, and covers topics like character development, diversity and inclusion, and hot topics/current issues.

What do the Athletes Learn?

Jacob Phillips ’20

In the first few weeks, athletes have learned about how to be positive leaders. For Jacob Phillips ‘20, a varsity football player, “conversations about positive leadership have taught me how to be a leader but with a positive attitude.”

Henry Hoy ’21

Similarly, Henry Hoy ‘21 has learned that “having a more positive attitude helps build your teammates up,” as the positivity can become contagious and spread. Hoy continued, explaining that “when a coach criticizes you, it is generally not personal, and is for your betterment.”

Gabe Ferrell ’19

Gabe Ferrell ‘19, a varsity wrestler, has already learned a lot from the program, as it “draws on timeless leadership lessons to make sure that our athletic leaders know how to effectively lead a team of men to be models of not only physical strength, but also mental fortitude and virtue.”

Liam Leahy ’20

Similarly, Liam Leahy ‘20 has taken away a lot from these monthly meetings. “I have definitely discovered that enthusiasm and encouragement between me and my teammates is essential to forming a strong and united unit.” Leahy continued, “I know that I have always enjoyed when others hype me up or give me a boost and so I have started to bolster my peers with supportive language myself. Somehow the reassurance and reinforcement of my friends and fellow athletes gives me a rush of adrenaline and raw energy I can’t get from anywhere else and it fuels me.”

What do the Athletes like about the Club?

Tommy Hovivian ’20

Tommy Hovivian, a star lacrosse player who started on varsity as a sophomore, has appreciated the club so far. “I really enjoy this club because we get to see some challenges and successes between various sports teams around Jesuit and in the sports world; that being said, it helps us to have open dialogue to help each other improve as leaders of our team, school, and community.”

Jack Corrales ’20

For Jack Corrales, who bowls on Jesuit’s varsity team, the club lets him meet new leaders that he would not regularly see. “I like that this club brings together captains and leaders from all the different sports, because if not for this club we all probably wouldn’t know each other as leaders for our respective sports and be able to help each other out.”

Thanks to the Captain’s Huddle Leadership Academy, student leaders now have a place to learn how to better lead their peers and how to confront issues within their teams.

Stay tuned to The Roundup for more news on Jesuit sports!

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