Athletic Leadership Program builds skills

Mentoring club has successful beginnings, supports others


Girls swim and dive team supports girls volleyball at their annual Pinkout Game on Sept. 27 against OPRF (photo courtesy of Erin Rodriguez).

Evelyn Kowalski, Editor-in-Chief

With 17 participating sports, the Athletic Leadership Program (ALP) began at the start of the school year with a purpose of further developing student athletes’ mentorship and leadership skills. 

“Leadership is often presented as a talent or quality that you just have or don’t have,” club co-sponsor Alex Lyons said. “We think of it much more as a skill. I think that’s mostly what the club is about, focusing on the kind of skills a leader needs to possess, and then practicing them.” 

Students in the club learn things such as how to mediate issues among their team, handle difficult stretches in a season, or talk to teammates who are having trouble, Lyons said. Club members are junior and senior athletes, who were nominated by their coaches in order to join, and then gained membership through an interview process. Currently, there are 24 club members and they meet every other Wednesday before school. 

There are two representatives from girls swim and dive, Abbey Silic ‘23 and Leah Wilson ‘23, who have encouraged their teammates to attend girl’s volleyball games. 

I like getting to work with athletes from all different sports and learning new skills that I can take back and utilize within my own team,” Silic said. “The coolest part for sure though is how the club has initiated this wave of support for all sports. As a team we went to watch the girls volleyball game, and then the volleyball team came to support us which was super empowering.”

Some of the qualities that are looked for in club members are students who: take initiative, are reliable and responsible, have respect for others, are willing to have hard conversations, are effective listeners, make consistent efforts to connect with others, and are open minded and willing to learn. 

“Hearing about [the students’] challenges, successes, and innovative approaches to situations always impresses me,” club co-sponsor Lucy Hoffman said. “I love to problem solve, and this allows me to do this along with kids with fresh new perspectives.”

On top of developing leadership skills, an additional objective of the club allows members to come up with projects they want to take on to enact change throughout the school, outside of the scope of their individual teams. This year, club members decided that they would like to generate a greater attendance at other sports’ games, through getting athletes from other teams to attend different sporting events. 

Member Izzi Wirtz ‘24 is a soccer player, and despite not being in season for LT soccer currently, she applies what she learns in ALP to her club team. 

“I am looking forward to being able to make as big of an impact as we can,” Wirtz said. “I think that we as a group can be advocates for our teams. I’m excited to have my voice heard, and my voice can represent girls soccer, or anyone who wouldn’t have a platform.”