BOULDER – University of Colorado Athletics was represented at November’s NCAA Student-Athlete Leadership Forum in Dallas by Brittany Lewis (track & field) and Shane Dillon (football) and Herbst Academic Coordinator Medford Moorer.
Founded in 2002, the Leadership Forum, was created to offer a platform to discuss issues, enhance personal awareness and leadership skills needed to positively impact student-athlete development and experience. Participants included a diverse and dynamic representation of student-athletes, coaches, faculty and administrators from Division I, II and III institutions.
Dillon is a freshman quarterback from El Cajon, Calif., who redshirted the 2012 football season. He was one of CU’s most highly touted prospects this last year, and the conference allowed him to step back and focus on what it would take to be a leader in the future.
“The conference greatly changed my outlook on how a person can impact their team,” Dillon said. “It taught me that you must look into yourself and correct the flaws that you have before you can look to others to follow you. We learned that if a team is to be successful they must all buy into the concept of togetherness because if they don’t they will crumble from the inside out.
“The entire weekend I was forced to take a deeper insight into the persona that I put off to others, and whether or not that was the person I wanted to be. All in all, the entire weekend was very dynamic and greatly exceeded my expectations.”
The three day conference comprised of guest lectures, breakouts, initiative/service activities and development sessions. Lewis and Dillon took home valuable leadership skills that they will apply personally, to their team, campus, conference and community.
Lewis, a combined events performer from Aurora, Colo., is gearing up for her sophomore season. As a freshman she became the school’s sixth best pentathlete recording a score of 3,644 for seventh place at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Indoor Championships. She took valuable lessons away from the Leadership Forum and how she could apply to her team and beyond.
“First, you have to understand your own core values,” Lewis said. “In order to be a leader you must know yourself and how you are perceived in your community. From this experience I have learned in order to be a leader I must know my own core values, but I must be open and willing to understand other peoples core values to demonstrate any kind of leadership role.
“In applying the concepts we learned to our teams I believe it is demonstrating the ‘Shoulder-To-Shoulder’ vision that we so strive for in this community. By supporting one another to be the best, becoming not just a teammate but a friend or family is what makes a community and a leader could not be a leader without having a community.”
Lewis and Dillon were chosen to represent the Buffs by a nomination of committee members who oversee the CU Athletic Leadership Development Program (LDP), a four-year inclusive program. Both student-athletes have demonstrated the passion and commitment of a role of leadership that can be continued for years to come.
“The Leadership Development Program at CU develops student-athletes to be today’s and tomorrow’s leaders by providing education and experiences,” program director Dave Callan said. “Attending the NCAA Leadership Forum was a great opportunity for Brittany and Shane to better understand themselves as leaders and how to provide strong leadership to their teams now and in their lives upon graduation.”