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The Homewood Tricorne

The Homewood Tricorne

The Student News Site of Homewood High School

The Homewood Tricorne

Team Homewood program boosts leadership in sports

Photo+Creds%3A+Catherine+Smith
Photo Creds: Catherine Smith

HHS athletics are constantly looking for ways to enhance leadership within the athletic community. Team Homewood Leadership is a program making leaps to accomplish this goal.

Two athletes from each sport are selected by their coaches to represent Team Homewood. It is recommended that these athletes be juniors, but if the sport has a primarily younger team then sophomores may be asked to represent. Coaches select based on character, effort, and leadership qualities demonstrated by the athletes at practice and in competition. 

These athletes are preparing to hold a leadership position within their sport in their upcoming senior seasons. Team Homewood provides the training to fulfill that position to its full potential. 

 Team Homewood began about 17 years ago. It originated with the desire to provide an opportunity for young female athletes to come together from different sports, including the Star Spangled Girls and the recent addition of the Color Guard. This year the program expanded to include male athletes. The team shares a common goal to share about their experiences within their own respective activities or sports. 

Carol Chesnutt, former coach at HHS and sponsor of Team Homewood, described the program’s purpose. 

“It is a chance for athletes to better learn how to lead themselves, and how to lead others,” Chesnutt said. “It provides formal training on what leadership is all about.”

Chesnutt says that the first goal of Team Homewood is to build leadership skills from within. When athletes learn what motivates them, it enhances their ability to lead others and provides opportunities to handle adversity among their team. The second goal is to encourage career exploration. The experience from this program can help athletes discover what they want to do in the next chapter of their lives whether that be athletics or not. 

Team Homewood includes a day where the members attend a job shadow at a career of their choice. “It gives them the ability to picture what their future lives can hold,” Chesnutt said. “It helps establish an idea of what they want to accomplish in the future.” 

Members are also required to complete a certain amount of community service hours within their time during the program. This provides the ability to get involved in the community and exemplify leadership skills beyond the school and athletics. 

 Until this year, male athletes were not a part of the program. Coach Garrison, HHS teacher, basketball, golf and flag football coach approached Chesnutt requesting to start a men’s version of the leadership program. He felt that there was a need for the boys to have the opportunity to build character through their sports. 

“The whole thing is around character development and how to be a leader within their team,” Garrison said. “We want to represent the school and the community well, and I thought this was a perfect opportunity for these boys to learn how to represent us in the right way.”

Garrison emphasizes the importance of understanding what a selfless leader looks like. “We look for people who can lead teams in different ways,” Garrison said. “Player A might need to be led in a different way than Player B, and that is crucial for good leaders to understand.”

For the three months the student-athletes participate in Team Homewood, a lot is asked out of them regarding attendance at meetings and involvement in the school and community. Once a week, the student-athletes meet at 7 a.m. before school to discuss leadership tactics. The meetings are geared towards developing strong leaders within the respective sports, and each one builds off of what was taught in the prior one. 

The team members will attend a retreat on Oct. 15 at Camp Worldsong, where they will complete team-building activities. It is a way for the members to get to know their fellow athletes and themselves and how to lead more effectively. Members learn different methods of leadership they can apply to their sport. Everyone can bring their own gifts to the table and learn from each other. 

In the beginning of December, the athletes will have a graduation luncheon at The Club where their completion of the program will be recognized. Chesnutt says it is a way to honor their contribution to Team Homewood and encourage them to apply the leadership skills learned to their sports and communities.

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