Coming Soon: Online Captains Course

November 7, 2014

By Rob Kaminski
MHSAA benchmarks editor

Staff, space and budgetary constraints put limitations on the best of organizations, and the MHSAA feels the squeeze like any other association.

Technology, fortunately, provides an infinite number of belt loops to loosen as programs expand. In order to achieve mass appeal, an association’s message at times needs to shift from face-to-face to  desktops, laptops, tablets, and  smart phones.

Especially when the target audience comprises those in their late teens, for whom the objects above are never out of arm’s reach.

Thus is the impetus the MHSAA Online Captains Course, set to launch later this school year. 

“Our in-person Captains Clinics programs are still a great way to deliver leadership lessons and to get students from rival schools to interact with each other in a fun and worthwhile way,” said MHSAA Director of Brand Management Andy Frushour. “But we can only do so many in-person clinics per year. With the online version, we can deliver the same message, albeit through a different format.  And we can do it 24 hours a day, at the user’s convenience, using a medium that kids use like the rest of us use oxygen, and potentially delivering our captains message to exponentially more students than the in-person version; even to students outside of Michigan.”

The ambitious plan is expected to come to fruition this fall, with plenty of support from the Michigan State University Institute for the Study of Youth Sports (ISYS), and, of course, the MHSAA Student Advisory Council.

The faces of the Captains course, quite literally, will be SAC members Connor Thomas of Marlette, and Caycee Turczyn of Lapeer.

“The idea for the Online Captains Course came to be when we were evaluating the Captains 101 books,” said Thomas, referring to a printed guide published by members of the first three SAC classes. “When it was decided there would be an online course, our committee decided to do a revision of the book to go along with our online sessions. The course will be open to all who want to gain knowledge on how to be a better leader. The first session is a series of videos, personal interviews and leadership activities.”

Turczyn and Thomas serving as hosts fit the peer-to-peer model that is so effective in student leadership campaigns.

“The main goal is to reach out to team captains or student-athletes,” Turczyn said. “With the two of us as speakers leading other students through the course, it will make it seem less like homework and more like a friend trying to encourage another friend to become they best they can be.”

This first version will be an introductory course, with plans for two more advanced leadership courses that will be facilitated online but with activities and discussions to take place offline in local communities. The goal for this “hands-on” portion of the training is for leaders to conduct interviews with coaches and administrators, write short answers and interact with teammates for a more transformational learning experience.

Working closely with Frushour, the ISYS team of Scott Pierce and Scott Westfall has spent the past year designing the program curriculum and they, too, are anticipating a highly-interactive and well-received   product.

“It’s a three-tiered program that will provide high school student-athletes information that leaders ‘need to know.’” Westfall said.  “Topics that will be covered include understanding motivation, team cohesion, positive peer modeling and communication. Additionally, the programs will provide captains with structured activities and experiences to promote self-reflection and opportunities to grow as young leaders.”

The first course is made up of 10, 10-minute segments, so it should take about two hours to complete.  The short “bite-sized” segments make it easier for students to digest all of the information being given to them.

Frushour and the MHSAA are grateful to have supportive, expert leaders in the field as neighbors.

“All of the lessons are based on research conducted by MSU’s Institute for the Study of Youth Sports,” Frushour said. “Dr. Dan Gould and his doctoral students are rock stars in the field of youth and leadership development, and we are lucky to have them as partners on this project “

For Pierce and the ISYS team, it’s a natural fit.

“The ISYS strives to provide these MHSAA initiatives with the most relevant and applicable scientific knowledge to put the organization in the best position to develop strong student-athlete leaders,” Pierce said.

PHOTOS: (Top) Marlette's Connor Thomas and Lapeer's Caycee Turczyn will serve as the Student Advisory Council hosts for an online Captains Clinic coming soon. (Middle) Michigan State University's Scott Pierce, Thomas, Turczyn and the MHSAA's Andy Frushour work on a segment shot at DeWitt High School. 

Performance of the Week: Hudsonville's Ava Snip

June 20, 2024

Ava Snip headshotAva Snip ♦ Hudsonville
Senior ♦ Softball

The Eagles' senior standout threw a complete-game one-hitter Saturday as Hudsonville defeated Lake Orion 5-0 in the Division 1 Final at Secchia Stadium, not only clinching the program's first championship since 2012 but also finishing a perfect season at 42-0. Snip struck out eight batters, walked three, and allowed just a fifth-inning single before getting out of that inning with a flyout and double play.

Snip finished this season with a 19-0 record, 0.54 ERA and 208 strikeouts over 129 2/3 innings pitched while splitting starts with senior Elly Koopman, who finished 18-0 and threw a shutout against Farmington Hills Mercy in the Semifinal. The team's 42 wins are tied for 10th-most for a single season in MHSAA history, and Hudsonville is the only team to win at least 42 games and finish undefeated. Snip was one of five Eagles selected to the Division 1 all-state first team. She next will attend Western Michigan University and study occupational therapy.

@mhsaasports 🥎POW: Ava Snip #softball #hudsonville #letsgo #champion #pitcher #part1 #highschoolsports #tiktalk #interview #performanceoftheweek #mistudentaid #fyp #MHSAA ♬ original sound - MHSAA

@mhsaasports 🥎POW: Ava Snip #tiktalk #questiontime #part2 #outerbanks #zachbryan #chickfila #nighttime #performanceoftheweek #mistudentaid #fyp #MHSAA ♬ original sound - MHSAA

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Past 2023-24 Honorees

June 13: Claire Marosi, Grand Rapids Catholic Central lacrosse - Report
June 6:
Emmry Ross, Onsted track & field - Report
May 31:
Isaac Sturgess, Flint Powers Catholic baseball - Report
May 30:
Abby Russell, Allen Park track & field - Report 
May 23:
Isabel Thelen, St. Johns tennis - Report
May 16:
Ally Katinas, Novi lacrosse - Report
May 9:
Peter Roehl, Rochester Adams golf - Report
May 2:
Lilah Smith, Richland Gull Lake soccer - Report
April 25:
Mason Mayne, Lawton track & field - Report
April 18:
Alli Wright, Jenison softball - Report
April 11:
Chloe Wishart, Trenton soccer - Report
March 28:
Jenna Maki, Ishpeming basketball - Report
March 22:
Jaremiah Palmer, Niles Brandywine basketball - Report
March 15:
Leah Hodge, North Farmington gymnastics - Report
March 8:
Darius Marines, Detroit Catholic Central wrestling - Report
March 1:
Rylee Smith, Zeeland West bowling - Report
Feb. 22:
Caleb Lewandowski, Traverse City West skiing - Report
Feb. 15:
Jadin Mix, Onaway basketball - Report
Feb. 8:
Onalee Wallis, Cadillac skiing - Report
Feb. 1:
Abbey DeGraw, Rochester Hills Stoney Creek competitive cheer - Report
Jan. 25:
Ewan Todd, Riverview swimming - Report
Jan. 18:
Ashley Weller, Jackson Northwest basketball - Report
Jan. 11:
Michael Baldwin, Saginaw Arthur Hill wrestling - Report
Dec. 15:
Jena Fijolek, Fenton bowling - Report
Dec. 8:
Sophia Wagner, Escanaba gymnastics - Report
Dec. 1:
Isaiah Marshall, Southfield Arts & Technology football - Report
Nov. 24:
Sarah Bradley, Clarkston Everest Collegiate volleyball - Report
Nov. 17:
Kalieb Osborne, Waterford Mott football - Report
Nov. 10:
Tekalegn Vlasma, Muskegon Western Michigan Christian soccer - Report
Nov. 3:
Colton Kinnie, Birmingham Seaholm football - Report
Oct. 27:
Lauren Timpf, Macomb Lutheran North golf - Report
Oct. 20:
Alena Li, Okemos golf - Report
Oct. 13:
Seth Norder, Grand Haven cross country - Report
Oct. 5:
Paige Anderson, Muskegon Reeths-Puffer golf - Report
Sept. 29:
MacKenzie Bisballe, Lake City volleyball - Report
Sept. 22:
Jhace Massey, Gladwin football - Report
Sept. 15:
Kaylee Draper, Sturgis swimming - Report
Sept. 8:
Owen Jackson, Traverse City St. Francis tennis - Report
Sept. 1:
Rachel Forsyth, Ann Arbor Pioneer cross country - Report