Developing Christ-like leaders is the mission of SFC. One place that leadership can be developed is through the athletic program. Sensitive to the impact leaders have on sports teams, Athletic Director Chad Bickley set out to find ways to develop strong leaders. After reading Jeff Janssen’s book, “How to Build and Sustain a Championship Culture,” Bickley attended a conference in North Carolina to be trained in Janssen’s philosophy. This program is used with over 25 NCAA National Championship and Final Four teams including Michigan, North Carolina, Stanford, Arizona, Notre Dame, Illinois, LSU, and Arkansas.
“How to Build and Sustain a Championship Culture” inspired Chad to launch the new Eagle’s Leadership Academy. The first level of this program is taught during freshman PE class, and thereafter, entry into this extracurricular activity is by a coach’s recommendation only. Coaches are looking for students who exhibit the personality, passion and commitment needed to be leaders on their particular team. Nearly half the Upper School student body currently participates in this program.
“I love investing in kids and God is pulling me to work with a focused group of students as leaders,” Bickley states. “In a nutshell, there are three levels of leaders we are developing. The first level begins with all freshman students in Leadership 101. In this class, taught during PE, kids learn how to be responsible athletes. Next, is Leadership 201 for emerging leaders where the athletes learn to lead themselves through building commitment, confidence, composure and character. Finally, in Leadership 301, established or veteran leaders learn how to be vocal leaders, build up their team, manage team conflict, partner with coaches, and set the tone for the program. This is our ultimate goal.”