Around 200 team captains from high schools across Manitoba learned what it takes to be a good leader during a recent workshop with an NFL veteran.
The Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association (MHSAA) organized its first-ever "Captains Workshop" on Oct. 10 in Linden Woods at the Shrine House at 1155 Wilkes Ave., where captains from all over the province gathered together to learn leadership skills, respect, and integrity.
"It’s important to continually educate kids and there’s a lot of time where education is in the classroom and out of the classroom," said organizer and MHSAA executive director Morris Glimcher. "It’s like a professional development workshop."
Glimcher said students and coaches came from as far away as Hamiota, a three-and-a-half hour drive from the city. He said they had to turn about 50 captains away because there just wasn’t enough room.
Leading the workshop, which started at 9 a.m., was Keith Nord, a motivational speaker and former captain of the Minnesota Vikings.
"(Nord) uses personal experience, he talks about friends in situations, he talks about some of his Vikings experiences," said Glimcher. "His pillars that he talks about are integrity, character, leadership, and he challenges the kids to achieve those and be leaders."
Girls basketball coach Karl Schroeder brought nine captains representing various sports from Miles Macdonell Collegiate in East Kildonan.
"It’s a unique opportunity for them to build some of the skills that they are going to need to be successful as a team," said Schroeder.
Schroeder hopes the leadership skills taught to the captains will have an impact on his school.
"(Nord’s) message is pretty integral to being a good member of the community and he talks about having integrity, being willing to fail, stepping up when they are uncomfortable and doing the right thing even when it’s hard to do the right things," said Schroeder. "You don’t have to be the captain of a team to benefit from learning and understanding those things and implementing those things in your life."
Mathew Ladyman, 16, captain of the ultimate Frisbee and men’s hockey teams from St. John’s-Ravenscourt was nervous coming to the workshop but enjoyed it.
"I hope to take some of this back to my teams and help get a closer bond with everyone," said Ladyman. "Make us a real family instead of just a team."