Leadership Development Programs Kicks Off with First-Year and Captains Sessions

Leadership Development Programs Kicks Off with First-Year and Captains Sessions

(PITTSBURGH, Pa.) – Sport psychologist Greg Shelley returned to campus on Sunday, September 17 for his annual visit as part of the Carnegie Mellon University Department of Athletics Student-Athlete Leadership Development Program. Dr. Shelley spoke to first-year student-athletes, had a session with team captains, met with the coaching staff, and spoke to individual teams during his visit to campus for the 12th year.

Sunday evening’s session for first-year athletes was attended by approximately 150 student-athletes, as well as two dozen upperclassmen facilitators.

 “We are committed to providing our students with opportunities that will allow them to get the most out of themselves,” said Director of Athletics Josh Centor. “Greg’s programs are cornerstones of our Leadership Development Program and I am always excited to hear the ways he challenges our students and coaches to lead.”

A professor at Ithaca College, Dr. Shelley is a performance consultant who has worked closely with Carnegie Mellon student-athletes and department staff for more than a decade. New to his visit this year was a session with the captains.

“The captain’s session was great - it was the first time we had all the captains in one room together and I think that’s something that should happen again,” said senior football captain Stanley Bikulege. “Everyone in the room is so intelligent and full of great ideas and insight, so it’s great to hear other perspectives. It’s also comforting to hear that every team has their struggles and then to try to work together to help resolve those issues.”

Bikulege added that talking with the fellow captains of the football team with Dr. Shelley in the room allowed them to identify their own strengths and weaknesses and how to utilize everyone’s strengths in order to make the team better. 

Volleyball freshman Gabriella Tellez was grateful to have a leadership session geared toward first-year athletes.

“I think that it was incredibly beneficial and encouraging to have this leadership session because as a freshman, it can be really difficult to be a leader,” said Tellez. “This session really motivated me to try to be a better teammate and person. It was really encouraging to learn how to be a leader even though I am only a freshman.  I am really determined to work on becoming a leader not only on my team but also in the classroom, with my words, but more importantly, my actions. Personally, I think that it was great for all of the freshman athletes to attend because leadership is very important and necessary in both sports and life.”

Greg Shelley’s session kicked off the core curriculum of the Student-Athlete Leadership Development Program which is a four-year program designed  to have Carnegie Mellon student-athletes evolve as leaders through engaging speakers, thoughtful discussion, campus outreach, and engagement and proactive mentorship.