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DC3 Lady Conqs Participate in Collegiate Leadership Competition

Published March 13, 2018

Members of the DC3 women’s basketball team will compete in the Collegiate Leadership Competition on April 14th, 2018. The Collegiate Leadership Competition is an annual competition comprised of students from 55 universities and colleges around the nation, in 5 regional competitions, who compete to learn and grow in leadership knowledge, skills, and abilities. The competition will involve 6 challenges that the team must solve within 45 minutes. Local leaders from the community are given score sheets evaluating each team member on their assigned role. Some things that judges will be scoring on include how the team manages stress, how they communicate, how inclusive they are, and how well they adhere to the rules given to them.
The regional competition that DC3 will be represented at will be held at Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas. Other students competing will represent Fort Hays State University, Emporia State University, Washburn University, Iowa State University, and the University of Colorado. DC3 will be the only Community College in the regional competition as well as the only team – nationwide – comprised of all female athletes.

In preparation for the competition, the students have been hard at work, building the skills necessary to be successful. “Each week, students are given a timed challenge and must work together as a team to solve it,” said Leadership Coach Marg Yaroslaski. “They have had to create method to drop an egg from a 15 foot balcony in 25 minutes – and were given nothing – not even the egg. They had to help their teammates create a house of cards more than 6 inches tall – while their teammates were blindfolded. All of these challenges allow each member of the team to take on a role and help the team succeed. After each challenge, the team gives each other feedback and works to improve their skills.”

DC3 Student Athlete Kaylyn Maple reflected on the preparation that the group has undergone for the leadership competition. “As we’ve been getting ready for the competition, it has been interesting to see that everyone has their own leadership style and that all of them combine together when you talk things through. Another important thing is that listening is very important because for each activity that we have to do, there tends to be a simpler way on how to complete the required task before just diving right into them.”

The skills that the students obtain through the Collegiate Leadership Competition will not only help the students to grow as a team, but individually, as well. They will gain tangible skills that will assist them in their successes on the basketball court as well as in class and in future occupations. Ultimately, DC3 Women’s Basketball Coach Zach Loll has two goals for this competition: to assist his players to improve their communication skills and to teach them how to become leaders. “People think you are born a leader, but that’s not true,” he stated. “People may have attributes that help them lead, but no one is a born leader, so I wanted to help them understand how they can lead.”

“Students are already growing through the experience,” said Yaroslaski. “They are learning more about themselves and their teammates. Each of these young women is unique and has a different personality. This competition allows them to use their personal strengths in a leadership capacity in the manner that plays to those strengths. Rather than a cookie cutter, one size fits all, this curriculum helps them each develop their own personal style.”

DC3 Student Athlete Kaylee Dales confirmed that she has already seen personal growth through the Collegiate Leadership Competition experience that she’s had, so far. “Small wins have taught me that thinking differently, more abstractly, is where greatness comes from. I have learned now, how to open my mind to think differently and accept the different ideas of the people around me, and it has honestly made me a way better friend, teammate, and player. I think the skills that I learn through the Collegiate Leadership Competition will help me become the selfless leader that I need to be for my team in the time I have. In the short time that we have been preparing for the competition, I can already see the changes in the way I help my teammates, how I can change my role to help the team succeed, and how I respond to the different personalities on my team.”

Regardless of the outcome of the competition, all of the participants have already won, on a personal level, in gaining skills and abilities that they can use, going forward. “It has been exciting to see them work together and players display skills that I wasn’t aware they had,” said Coach Loll. “It’s something that will truly benefit them throughout their lives.”