Nashville, Tenn. --- The Tennessee State University athletics department welcomed Dr. Becky Bedics to campus to hold a workshop as a part of the Ohio Valley Conference’s Leadership Initiative.
The event, which took place over a span of two-days, was designated for student-athletes and coaches. Each group met in the multipurpose room of the Indoor Practice Facility.
On Monday night, Dr. Bedics met with the student-athletes while Tuesday morning was reserved for the members of the coaching staff.
“Coaching is an amazing profession,” commented Dr. Bedics. “The ability to connect with the student-athletes is a rare privilege and they know that. What I am hoping the coaches will get out of today is the opportunity to talk with one another and compare notes about some challenges they may be having. Also for them to become a better connectors/communicators with the athletes as well as some strategies they can use. The conversations will start here but hopefully they will continue on further on down the road.”
The workshop featured a number of topics that were relevant for today’s college athletic experience. One of the main items of discussion was social media and the effects it has on athletics today. The coaches also shared their thoughts on what challenges they face with student-athletes. They had small table discussions on various issues before expressing their ideas with the larger group.
“I was very impressed with the amount of similarities I share with other coaches,” said head golf coach Parrish McGrath. “Not only with the challenges that we are faced with but also with the solutions. We have all kind of come together to realize this is a different generation and we need to all adapt our methodology to be able to deal better with today's student athlete.”
The student-athletes had a more interactive workshop as they participated in a number of activities that highlighted the importance of trust, communication and leadership.
The night began with an exercise that forced blind folded students to rely on their teammates to guide them through a course. Another activity called for the participants to showcase their verbal and non-verbal communication skills.
Theodore Nicholson a senior member of the Track and Field team was one of the many student athletes who participated in the program. When asked what he learned from this opportunity, the Jacksonville, Fla. native felt like he gained better team building and communication skills. He added the notion that it is great to lead by example but even better to vocalize your concerns and thoughts as a measure of caring for your teammates.
Senior women’s basketball guard Rachel Allen also expressed her appreciation and for the workshop.
“This was a great workshop,“ Allen said. “Even though I’m a senior, I realized that there are still things that I can learn. I learned that, as a leader, you can’t approach everyone the same way. I also learned some effective leadership skills through the various activities that we did.”
Dr. Becky Ahlgren Bedics is the President and Owner of Ahlgren-Bedics Consulting, LLC and serves as the Director of Leadership Development for Collegiate Sports at Janssen Sports Leadership Center Foundation. Ahlgren-Bedics works toward the goal of offering customized programs and workshops for Student-Athletes and Administrators.
“I thought the leadership workshop was very informative,” stated head football coach Rod Reed. “I appreciate Commissioner Beth Debauche and Dr. Bedics for coming over to share this information with us. I think we all can carry something away from this that will help our perspective teams.”