Sept. 12, 2013
PITTSBURGH -- The Cathy & John Pelusi Family Life Skills Program hosted its annual Panther Leadership Academy on Wednesday at the Petersen Events Center.
"Our leadership program is voluntary for the student-athletes. The athletes that do attend are taking the time to recognize that improved leadership will improve the performance of their team," said Executive Associate Athletic Director, Donna Sanft. "The long term benefit is that the same things they learned at the Academy about leadership will take them a long way in their professional careers, families, communities and anything else they may become involved in."
Led by Penny Semaia, Assistant Athletic Director of Student Life, the program focused on developing leadership skills that can contribute to both sport and life success. This world renowned Academy was created by Jeff Janssen, president of the Janssen Sports Leadership Center.
While at the academy, student-athletes engaged in group discussion on the characteristics of a leader, the positive and negative effects of being a leader and what communication skills are needed to be a leader. The student-athletes participated in workshops and physical exercises to exemplify these characteristics.
One exercise the student-athletes took part in was an obstacle course. Teamed up together, one partner was to lead their blindfolded counterpart through the entire course without a mistake, by only using verbal communication skills. Not only did they learn how to lead their teammates during this exercise, but they learned how to have trust and confidence in their leader to help them finish the course mistake free.
The mission of the Cathy & John Pelusi Family Life Skills Program is to develop and prepare student-athletes for success while in college and for life after college, utilizing academic, athletic and community resources. The Panther Leadership Academy is in its seventh year at Pitt.