By Kyle Johnson
Coordinator of Player Engagement
Player Engagement was on-the-move again as we partnered with the Wharton Business School to conduct our first selective leadership and achievement recognition program for a group of elite male and female student-athletes in Philadelphia, PA.
The inaugural NFL-Prep Leadership Program consisted of a select group of 36 top rising senior high-school student-athletes. These particular student-athletes were selected based off their excellent performance on and off the playing fields. The program recognized the success of the invitees and provided participants with two days of specific leadership training and development programming. The rigorous coursework, breakout groups and panels specifically designed by The Wharton School provided a formal foundation of leadership training for this next generation of leaders.
Student-athletes heard from Wharton professors, NCAA representatives, Gatorade Health & Wellness representatives, and much more. Student-athletes were educated and interactively engaged on subjects ranging from leadership personalities to cognitive functions. Student-athletes even got a chance to hear from Arthur Joseph, an animated and informative vocal coach who engaged students through role play emphasizing the importance of voice structure and confidence. One student said of Arthur, “He really helped me be aware of how I present myself to others and how I want to be viewed. I will use his advice throughout my life and he was fun as well.” After diligently learning from Arthur and other leaders in their respective fields, student-athletes explored the beautiful Penn campus and even enjoyed a night out at bowling.
The program’s satisfaction survey results were astounding, as 100% of students indicated a better understanding of leadership skills, styles, and fundamentals. The survey also indicated that students had a better understanding in the areas of people management, negotiations, financial literacy, social media, and goal setting. The survey results suggest these student-athletes are equipped and ready to make an impact as leaders in their senior year. One student-athlete mentioned “Overall, this program exceeded my expectations. I met a lot of great people and learned a lot of new material that I will take home and use.” Another student-athlete said “I plan to make the most of what I learned here to make the most of my senior year.”
Overall, student-athletes left campus equipped and excited to take the reigns as leaders. Player Engagement and The Wharton Business School were very pleased with the inaugural program and can hardly wait to welcome the next class of leaders in 2013.