From the Locker Room to the Real World

The research is clear! Over 50% of recent college graduates and 67% of employers stated that college graduates are not ready for the work place. Additionally, 97% of educators believe that colleges and universities do a great job of educating students, but a lousy job of preparing them for the real world. The problem is the absence of soft skills, not technical skills. Lack of leadership experience was at the core of the skills college graduates lack in their transition to the work place. This session will focus on the performance skills of successful leaders and what companies are looking for in college graduates, things you can start developing right now!

Social Media: Colleges are Watching You

Social media has become an integral part of the college recruiting process. Learn how you can maximize your profile in the eyes of college coaches, while at the same time limiting potential mistakes that could cost you thousands of dollars in scholarship money. Competition for college roster spots and scholarships are fierce!  Learn how to utilize social media to your advantage, while becoming the CEO of your brand.


Sportsmanship & Character in Athletic Experience Both on and off the Field of Competition

Today, in all athletic competition there is a need for character and sportsmanship.  Athletes should ask themselves, “how do I lead within my team the right way both on and off the field of competition?” The Champions of Character Program is used to change the culture of sports. Its mission is to provide training to instill the values that build character so students, coaches and parents know, do, and value the right thing on and off the field.  The Champions of Character Program helps student-athletes find the balance by keeping positive core values such as: character, unity, integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship, and servant leadership - at the heart of the athletics experience.  We need to educate our student athletes on how values play out in both practice and competition.  Coaches need to learn how to intentionally define, model, shape and reinforce character building through their coaching and mentoring. Research shows that the longer a student spends in sports, their social reasoning - sacrificing for the good of the team - rises, while their moral reasoning skills - doing what is fair, just, honest, and noble – decline. The display of sportsmanship through athletics is also crucial to developing team unity and growing as a student athlete.

Goal and Brain (Mind) Mapping

What is Goal and Brain (Mind) Mapping? It is breaking down one’s goals into smaller parts or smaller steps that allows one to discover and align actions with desired goals. The concept of Goal and Brain (Mind) Mapping is not a new strategy! This session will focus on Goal and Brain (Mind) Mapping for high school, college, and career goals.  This session will layout steps to reach desired grade point average goals, college admission goals, desired career goals, and even financial goals.  


The Leadership Code

This session will unveil the balance between personal achievement and contributions to team success (leadership) and how they complement each other. This powerful combination will lead to a purposeful and fulfilling journey, in all that you do.

Financial Empowerment

This session will provide students with a basic understanding of the importance of savings, budgeting, understanding credit, and planning for the future. Students will learn about credit, the difference between a credit and debit card, and why it is important to know your banker.  Learn how to save and spend on a budget.  Finally, understand the strategy of good credit and the pitfalls of bad credit, realizing that being able to budget is a good lesson that stays with you for life.  

“Own It”-Part I-Defining Leadership

Investigating what leadership means, what followers are looking for, and how to build trust with them.  We will also look at the values a leader needs.

“Own It”-Part II-Going From Good to Great

Talking about the importance of setting goals and how to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses as a leader.  In addition, we will learn how to sell the vision.

“Own It”-Part III–Great Leaders get the A's Right

Discussing the importance of Accountability, the right Attitude, and handling Adversity as a leader.

Entering the World of NCAA Division I & II Eligibility

This session is designed to educate college-bound student-athletes about the necessary steps to participate in NCAA Divisions I and II athletics. An Eligibility Center representative will present the following information: current academic standards for NCAA Divisions I and II, steps to achieving initial eligibility certification, walk-through of the registration and certification processes, and available informational resources.

Be a Leader in the Weight Room

Athletes who fuel their bodies properly will feel great, recover quickly, and perform optimally. This session will cover the sports nutrition concepts that every student-athlete should know: pre-workout fueling, hydration strategies, recovery essentials, and supplement selection. Talking and showing the way to lead by the most important way-BY EXAMPLE.

How to be an Effective Leader

This interactive presentation will look into different aspects of being a leader. Defining leadership, setting goals, identifying strengths and weakness, and dealing with adversity are some of the topics that will be discussed.  The goal of this presentation will be to provide students with tools to be better leaders, not only on their teams but in their lives beyond high school.

Your Relationship With the Media

As a student-athlete, you are not only a leader for your team but a representative and image of your school and community. You have a responsibility to the IHSAA, your school, your coaches, and your teammates by cooperating with the media. Because of this fact, you need to always be aware of what you say and what you do. During high school athletics, you may be approached by different types of media: the school newspaper, local newspaper, local news station, radio, television, or magazine. Learn how to prepare yourself for interviews, specifically television interviews, to showcase your sport, school and community.

Hazing: What It Is and Why it Doesn’t Work?

Hazing continues to plague athletic teams. Why? This session will look at what hazing is, what it isn’t, and most importantly why it doesn’t work. This session will also analyze some best practices on welcoming new teammates to the team. Identify when the initiation or on-boarding becomes hazing and detrimental to the program and to your new teammates.


Good Sporting Behavior: Modeling the Best of Sport

Ways to maximize the sporting experience as a fan, competitor, and casual observer.  This session will utilize interactive activities which will simulate the contest atmosphere.

Great leaders & Officials: Anything in Common?

Oh yeah!!!  There are MANY things great leaders have in common with the great zebras, including: being in position to make the call, demeanor before the contest, leading by example, and remaining calm when things are unfavorable. The women and men in stripes must be leaders even if they are working alone!

How do I get an NCAA Division I Scholarship? Isn't That the Question?

You have played all your life, with your parents helping you prepare for that big day when you sign a National Letter of Intent, BUT how do you know if you are academically eligible to compete? What if college coaches are not contacting you? What are coaches looking for in highlight videos and should you use a recruiting service? Think of this important fact: only 2% of high school student-athletes will secure scholarships to NCAA schools. This session will focus on what coaches are looking for and how you can market yourself in recruiting highlight videos.

Why Dreams Are Reality… Anything You Can Hold, You Can Have

Any athlete’s journey begins and ends with themselves and the decisions they make. Regardless, the lessons learned in sports will literally carry us through the rest of our lives and careers. Learn how this speaker went from a small town with no track, to a full-ride Division 1 scholarship, university record holder, a chance to compete professionally, and building businesses with his teammates. All done by just changing the way he thought! It all started with altering himself and the way he dreamed, learned, and acted. The habits he’s broken and new ones he’s created have given him endless opportunities!

Building Champions

This session will share ways leadership has been learned by the speaker through his experiences in helping build championship teams. The speaker will share diagrams that are used with his own football team at Franklin College. He will hand out a copy of his playbook, which is distributed at the beginning of every season, in which he calls his “Champions Manual.”

The Art of Active Listening for Leaders

Learn how to listen like a champion. Listening is not something that comes naturally for anybody. You have to train yourself to actively be involved in a conversation without thinking of what you are going to say next. This breakout session focuses on how to do this and how to talk to adults and future employers. This leadership skill can set you up for a lifetime of success in your professional and personal lives.

Coaches and Captains

So you’ve been chosen to be a team leader. What does that mean? What are your expectations of being a team leader and, maybe more importantly, what are the coach’s expectations for you? In this interactive and reflective session, we will discuss the presenter’s experiences as a team leader, as well as, what some coaches expect from their leaders. We will also discuss the qualities of an effective leader and how you can infuse those qualities into your leadership style.

Why Sports Matter

This session will discuss the importance of education-based athletics. It will detail the value that sports have on today’s society and the difference that a coach can make in transforming the lives of young adults.

College Representatives Panel

During this breakout session, participants will be able to visit and ask questions with several college representatives. College applications do not have to be scary!! Participants will learn what college admission offices are looking for during the process. Volunteer and serve in leadership roles now!!!  

IHSAA Student Advisory Committee Information

ATTENTION: rising sophomores and juniors! Are you interested in serving on the IHSAA Student Advisory Committee (SAC)?? The Student Advisory Committee is a group of student-athletes, who work IHSAA State Championships, plan and organize the Student Leadership Conference, and meet with IHSAA Commissioners to represent and speak for Indiana’s 160,000 student-athletes. SAC members have the privilege of a front row seat to the actions that enable Indiana High School Athletics! In this panel, student-athletes will have the opportunity to speak and ask questions with current members of the IHSAA Student Advisory Committee.

Champions Together Social Media & Marketing

Sharing your unified experiences with the students, faculty, and parents, who make up your school community, are an important part of the Champions Together model for success. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat offer plenty of opportunities for engagement. Learn best practices for using social media to promote events, share photos, and generate excitement about your school’s Champions Together Program.

This is Special Olympics

 Special Olympics . . . a well-known name but often a misunderstood organization. Built upon the social justice movement of the late 1960’s, Special Olympics, like those hippies, have changed over the years.  Learn more about those who we are called to serve, and see how Special Olympics continues to be relevant today. This session will also discuss how student-led initiatives locally have impacted the national conversation on human rights

Champions Together Fundraising

Learn how you can have fun and support Special Olympics Indiana, while earning a Unified Champion School BANNER for your school. Find out from students how they are participating in things like the Polar Plunge, Track or Treat, Plane Pull, t-shirt design/sales and Mr. (name of your school) competition. Fundraisers that have proven to be FUN and effective.

Champions Together Unified Sports®

Not sure what Unified Sports® are all about? Unified Sports® are an exciting and rewarding way for schools to embrace inclusion and respect. Students with and without intellectual disabilities become teammates, representing their high schools at competitions. There is EXCITING NEWS! This coming Fall Season, the IHSAA will host its first Unified Flag Football High School STATE CHAMPIONSHIP! Attend this session and find out how to form teams and enter in the following:

·         Unified Flag Football—Inaugural State Championship, Fall, sponsored by IHSAA

·         Unified Bocce—3rd Annual State Championship, Fall, sponsored by Special Olympics Indiana

·         Unified Bowling—2nd Annual State Championship, Winter, sponsored by Special Olympics Indiana

·         Unified Track and Field—6th Annual State Championship, Spring, sponsored by the IHSAA 

Champions Together Student-Led Workshop

Whether you are just beginning or wanting to take Champions Together to the next level, attend this intriguing and interactive session led by the members of the IHSAA Student Advisory Committee. Hear firsthand advice from student-athletes about how to organize an awareness night for the community, organize an inclusive clinic, and bring a “Respect Rally” featuring anti-bullying and an R-Word Campaign. The Student Advisory Committee Members will share insight on the impact Unified Sports® and Champions Together has had on their schools.


Champions Together School Assembly

Here’s how to start if you want to join the hundreds of high schools in Indiana participating in Champions Together. This fun and interactive school assembly is emceed by professional comedian, Craig Tornquist, who has now performed more than 150 times all around the state. The highlight of the presentation will be hearing the life changing story of motivational speaker and Special Olympics athlete, Mitch Bonar. Learn from members of the IHSAA Student Advisory Committee on how to initiate activities in the school and community, in which meet the requirements for whole school awareness/inclusion. This session will explain Unified Sports® and fundraising for your school to receive a Unified Champion School BANNER for the upcoming school year.