HIGH POINT, N.C. - Conference Carolinas hosted its third annual student-athlete advisory committee (SAAC) weekend retreat in High Point, NC on Friday January 28 & Saturday January 29. The event brought together two student-athletes and an athletic administrator from each member school to share ideas about improving themselves in all aspects of their lives. The ‘Know Thyself’ leadership theme was a success as 24 student-athletes attended the event and were joined by nearly a dozen other administrators and coaches from Conference Carolinas schools. Sarah Hebberd, Blake Dowdle and Rachel Hebberd, along with advisor Micki Thompson, all represented the Falcons at the two-day event.
“Often athletes are mistakenly viewed as one dimensional,” stated Commissioner Alan Patterson. “After one weekend of interaction with Conference Carolinas student-athletes, one is totally aware of the intelligence, creativity, and sense of responsibility demonstrated. I am pleased that these outstanding athletes represent Conference Carolinas.”
After Friday’s ice breaking opening session, sports psychologist Dr. Erik Dunlap “took it to the next level” with his presentation of developing critical mental skills for success on the field, in the classroom, and in life. Dr. Dunlap discussed ‘SMART’ goal setting action plans, self-confidence, self-image, and creating positive mental attitudes to challenge participants to grow in their everyday walk as a student-athlete.
Representatives were treated to a social dinner on Friday night followed by group discussion over dessert discussing next year’s league initiatives in the “Pass It Forward” roll-out campaign. The movement will challenge SAAC groups to work within current objectives of sportsmanship, official’s appreciation, and community service to encompass all of the different attributes that individual schools value on their own campuses. “We want our SAAC groups to continue to build on past initiatives, but also give them more freedom to build on all the different successful programs they are currently working toward while also being able to pass it forward to those they inspire,” stated Associate League Commissioner Brook Patterson.
Saturday’s events featured guest presenter Dr. Lizzie Lange who had a very interactive presentation for the group focusing on “Team Cohesion Activities.” The activities had participants working within teambuilding programs that included a series of group challenges of emotional, physical, mental and interpersonal tasks.
Pfeiffer University’s Assistant Athletic Director Micki Thompson shared some of her thoughts about the retreat. “The entire weekend was very exciting and we were so grateful that our student-athlete leaders learned more about themselves and the missions that they can take back to campus. We want to put the things we have learned from the weekend into motion for Pfeiffer and again are really energized about the success of the weekend.”
Conference Carolinas SAAC Retreat Past
2011: Know Thyself 11’ Retreat
2010: Leadership – Be About it 10‘Retreat
2009: Outrageous & Contagious 09’ Retreat
Conference Carolinas is a NCAA Division II athletic conference made up of 11 teams from North Carolina and South Carolina. These institutions consist of: Barton College, Belmont Abbey College, Coker College, Converse College, Erskine College, Lees-McRae College, Limestone College, Mount Olive College, Pfeiffer University, Queens University of Charlotte, and St. Andrews Presbyterian College. For the upcoming 2011-12 academic year King College (Bristol, TN) and North Greenville University (Tigerville, SC) will join as full Conference Carolinas league members.