Athletic Leadership Program lifts off at Guilford College

On Sept. 23, student-athletes of Guilford College were ushered into the Ragan Brown Field House for the first speaker of the newly established leadership forum.

This program is based on the current Bryan Series, but is aimed more towards students than the entire Greensboro community.

It was proposed by Guilford alum, athletics hall of famer, and former basketball coach Dave Odum ’65.

His plan is to give encouragement to student-athletes through speakers who not only have ties to athletics, but who will also take the time to talk to the students and visit the college.

Kicking off the event was guest speaker Jay Bilas, ESPN broadcaster and college basketball analyst.

During his speech Bilas mentioned three key ideas athletes should keep in mind that apply to competing on the field as well as when they graduate and obtain jobs.

These ideas involve  concentration, preparation and being a good team member.

Bilas emphasized that athletes should treat each competition and practice as if it were the championship game and when it is time to work, the game should be the only thing in the athlete’s mind.

He also encouraged athletes to try to get something out of their practice instead of just working to get through it.

Finally, Bilas mentioned how athletes, whether the best or not, should play some sort of role on the team and exhibit integrity in every competition.

Athletes rely on teammates during games and a victory comes easier when every player has a role and works together.

Coaches, athletes and administrators have taken Bilas’ speech to heart and have been working to apply his methods to their own situations, whether in the classroom or working on that new play at practice.

Bilas’ appearance garnered praise from those who attended, which gets the forum off to an excellent start.

The next presenter, comedian Jeanne Swanner Robertson, will speak on Nov. 4.