NASHVILLE --- In support of the Ohio Valley Conference’s leadership initiative, Dr. Becky Bedics visited the Tennessee State University campus to conduct a workshop for the department of athletics.
The event, which took place over a span of two-days, was designated for student-athletes, coaches and administrators.
On Tuesday night, Dr. Bedics met with the student-athletes. The first session was for the freshmen and sophomores while juniors and seniors gathered for the second meeting.
Wednesday morning was reserved for the members of the coaching staff and administration.
A few student-athletes reflected on the experience:
Lauren Farias | Softball
"I felt that Dr. Bedics was very relatable and offered a lot of good ways to stay positive especially when things aren’t going your way in a game. It’s tough trying to be cheerful and have great energy when you’re not playing your best or when your team is losing, and she helped with different things to do to get all the negative thoughts out and to forget about the mistakes that were made and to keep moving forward."
Josh Trueheart | Football
"The seminar helped me, as a student-athlete, understand more about being a leader not just on the field, but that I have to be a leader in the classroom as well."
Dhani McDowell | Women's Golf
"The seminar was really eye opening for me in how I'm able to change situations while I’m in practice or competition. I noticed that every sport has their own battles that they deal with, but we all generally deal with the same type of distractions or complications when it comes to schoolwork and things other than the sport itself."
Larry Sloan | Men's Tennis
"The OVC leadership seminar was packed with a ton of valuable insight, but something that stood out to me above the rest would be Ms. Bedics’ candle lighting analogy. This was an analogy that she used to personify being the light that we wish to see in others. She reminded us that by using our light, our inner leader, to help Ignite a fellow teammates candle doesn’t make our flame any dimmer, but in turn creates more light."
Amani Taylor | Women's Track and Field
"In order for a team to be successful, everyone must be on the same page. The team is only as strong as its weakest link. If one teammate is ahead of another, then that one teammate should help the other to bring them up to their level. If an effort like this occurs throughout the team, the team as a whole can prosper to levels unimaginable."
Ashley Primas | Women's Basketball
"While participating in the OVC Leadership Workshop, I learned that being a leader requires being uncomfortable. Having the ability to step outside of your comfort zone is one of the key components to becoming a great leader. It is very important to stay composed to bring the team together when your team is disshelved and things aren't clicking. As a leader you can face many obstacles and everything might not be going in the right direction, but it is your responsibility to put the team on your back. The workshop taught me that once your fix and change your bad habits, then leadership become so much easier."
Micahlea Njie | Volleyball
"I think the seminar was really good. I learned how every sport relates in the same manner when it comes to competing and practices. Every team needs a great leader to guide them through the good and bad times."
Morgan Cage | Women's Tennis
"I think an athlete’s greatest opponent is themselves and Becky really helped us to realize that. She also gave us some new techniques to help us with our mental game."
After the coaches and administrators session, the leaders of our programs shared their thoughts:
Russ Willemsen | Men's Basketball
"I'm a very task oriented leader. I come in, put my head down, and get to work. Today's seminar helped me sit back, take a break and get to know my colleagues and the battles they deal with. We were vulnerable with each other and I think it helped us grow as a unit. The best part is that I can take the exercises and lessons back to my team to implement."
Parrish McGrath | Men's and Women's Golf
"The thing I can remember about this event was that we were asked to go back to our earliest memories and think about what was most important about coaching, what was most meaningful about those that we have coached and as players, us being coached ourselves. It was nice to bring everything together and bring it full circle to know why I am here today."
Zekeya Harrison | Media Relations
"I think the workshop was really good. I've been attending since we first started and I think this was the best one. It was very engaging and I enjoyed the opportunity engaging and getting to learn more about my colleagues. Hopefully, what we learned today will help us down the line."
Gabriel Punzalan | Academic Services
"The information we got in today's session was absolutely amazing and very unique. I don't think we would have gotten this in other settings. Becky is a true pro. She was actually one of the first to get me through N4A. My very first N4A regional convention, she was one of the very first guests and helped me work the room."
Lola Oredugba | Women's Tennis
"I got to learn about my peers and some fun stuff to takeaway for our players to engage with. I love knowing that all of us are improving which helps the entire department improve."
Kevin Mashack | Football
"I think today's leadership was a great experience for all of us as head coaches and assistants. We got to know ourselves better and our kids. It will help us with team building and coach and player relationships in the long run."
Ronnie Enoch | Women's Basketball
"Any action from the OVC and this leadership committee was really great. I took away a few tidbits I can use for myself and with the kids."