ProfTalk tackles sports leadership

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Sports Leadership was the focus of the most recent ProfTalk, which hosted a discussion of what it means to be a leader within the sports community.

On Tuesday, March 7, five presenters spoke about their experiences in leadership in their respective sports communities, and some expanded the topic to everyday activities. The presenters included students Miranda Pellicciotti and Katie Juniewicz, as well as various Rowan University faculty members such as Kevin George, Gary Baker and Mike Dickson.

The overall message was the theme of teamwork, which every speaker touched on, stating it is necessary for all people involved in a team, including coaches.

Dickson, who is the Rowan University head baseball coach, was the recipient of the 2013 Skip Bertman MLB National Coach of the Year Award, but stressed that despite his successes, he frequently has to really self-reflect about his time as a coach.

“When I had a few years of a lot of losses, I had to re-evaluate myself,” Dickson said. “I had to re-assess how I teach my players.”

Dickson felt that participating in sports is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Therefore, as a coach, he stresses that his players be sure to enjoy the process, and know that it’s ultimately the best couple years of their life.

“A successful team is not talent alone — it’s a combination of talent, and being a good teammate,” Dickson said.

Baker, assistant director of Orientation and Student Leadership Programs, spoke about his favorite novel, “Wooden on Leadership,” written by John Wooden, a successful basketball coach.

“If I’m the best player, how can [I] continue to succeed [myself]?” Baker said. “This can be taken anywhere in life. You’ve always got to strive to be a better you.”

Pellicciotti, president of the Rowan Dance Team and senior education major, centered her

Mike Dickson shares his experiences with sports during the March 7 ProfTalk. Dickson is Rowan baseball's head coach. -Staff Photo/Anthony Medina
Mike Dickson shares his experiences with sports during the March 7 ProfTalk. Dickson is Rowan baseball’s head coach. -Staff Photo/Anthony Medina

speech on the word “respect.” She created an acrostic poem for the word, each letter standing for something which contributed to her take on leadership within the dance team.

“Leadership always requires a great deal of enthusiasm, the team feeds off of the way a leader approaches practices,” Pellicciotti said.

She went on to explain that if she had a haphazard attitude during a practice, this would only translate to her teammates. Additionally, she stressed being fair and applying herself to her own rules.

“If you provide support for team, they provide support for you. Teammates look up to you on a personal level,” Pellicciotti said. “Being there as a leader is a great way to build the team.”

Tuesday’s ProfTalk was not as heavily attended as some of the past popular ProfTalks, but those who were present felt the event was both informative and worthwhile.

Brooke Paskas, a sophomore elementary education major, came partially to support her peers at Leadership Rowan, the organization which runs ProfTalk.

“I also really enjoyed the talk because it related to my time as captain for the cheer team,” Paskas said of her time as captain during high school.

Brandon Bowen, a sophomore accounting major, also felt the talk was interesting and the presenters were extremely informative.

“I generally like sports topics,” Bowen said. “I play club baseball, so it’s always nice to get other people’s takes and perspectives on sports, especially when it comes to being a leader.”

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