As St. Mary’s Academy students start school this fall, it is not just the academic program that will move to an online format. Everything from assemblies to Mass to extracurricular activities have been re-imagined for a digital environment, including athletics. While student-athletes won’t be able to formally compete until almost the end of the year as per the new OSAA guidelines, St. Mary’s Academy student-athletes will have the opportunity to immediately take part in our new program, Leadership: On and Off the Field, designed to develop the leadership skills that participating in sports helps to instill.
St. Mary’s is working with current parent, author and motivational speaker, Greg Bell, to develop the program curriculum based on his book Water The Bamboo®: Unleashing Your Potential (Student Leadership Edition). Mr. Bell will lead virtual training sessions for student-athletes as well as St. Mary’s coaches and parents. Principal Nicole Foran shares, “While we know this won’t fully replace what our student-athletes will be missing with the delay in the athletic seasons, our hope is that our students will continue to strengthen the skills critical to athletic success, skills such as teamwork, resilience, discipline, confidence and determination. Further, we know these characteristics have relevance beyond sports and our student-athletes will be better prepared for life after St. Mary’s.”
Mr. Bell describes his motivation for building this program with St. Mary’s. "I am excited to deliver a series of programs for SMA student-athletes based on my book, Water The Bamboo. The curriculum is designed to help SMA student-athletes stay motivated and engaged emotionally, mentally and physically during this challenging time, by getting athletes to focus on what they can control."
In addition to the curriculum for student-athletes, Leadership: On and Off the Field will include a virtual speaker series for St. Mary’s students and parents featuring athletic trainers, experts from the world of sports science, nutrition, wellness, and sports psychology as well as talks with athletes and coaches from both the collegiate and professional ranks.
Principal Foran adds, “Now, more than ever, we recognize our need to stretch and get creative around the programming we offer our students. We also understand the critical importance of a program like this tailored specifically for young women, with research confirming that sports participation has a real impact on success later in life.”