Online Course Trains Leaders Nationwide
August 11, 2015
By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
The valuable lessons student leaders have received over the last decade during Captains Clinics presented statewide by Michigan High School Athletic Association staff are now available to students nationwide and beyond as part of an online Captains Course produced by the MHSAA and available from the National Federation of State High School Associations on its Learning Center website.
The Captains Course, created over two years with assistance from Michigan State University’s Institute for the Study of Youth Sports (ISYS), is broken into 10 segments providing instruction on leadership styles and skills to how to handle situations faced by leaders of teams in any sport. A total of 20 past members of the MHSAA Student Advisory Council speak during the program, providing peer-to-peer guidance that has proven effective in student leadership campaigns.
The online Captains Course has been started 2,881 times since its release in July, including 802 times during the first 10 days of this month. The first MHSAA Captains Clinic was conducted in March 2005, and clinics are presented in person on a league-by-league basis to approximately 1,000 students each school year.
The online Captains Course is free and can be downloaded after an account is created on the NFHS Learning Center website at http://www.nfhslearn.com.
“Many student-athletes have characteristics that allow them to become leaders, but rarely do they receive lessons in how to be an effective team captain; this has been the goal of our Captains Clinics and is the aim of this Captains Course,” said MHSAA assistant director Andy Frushour, who coordinates the association’s student services programs and advises the Student Advisory Council. “Our in-person Captains Clinics 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. 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 online Captains Course is an introductory program, 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 the “hands-on” portion of later training courses will be for leaders to conduct interviews with coaches and administrators, write short answers and interact with teammates for a more transformational learning experience.
The first course is made up of 10, 10-minute segments, and takes about two hours to complete – but is meant to be completed over multiple days. The short “bite-sized” segments make it easier for students to digest all of the information being given to them, and are based on research by the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports. Doctoral students working with the institute serve as instructors during Captains Clinics.
The Captains Course is hosted by recent high school graduates Caycee Turczyn of Lapeer High School and Connor Thomas of Marlette. Both were two-year members of the Student Advisory Council; Turczyn will begin studies this fall at the University of Michigan, while Thomas will start at Oakland University.
“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 “
The Institute for the Study of Youth Sports was launched in 1978 to establish a world-class institute that would scientifically study the beneficial and detrimental effects of sports participation on children and youth and then work to maximize the beneficial effects. The mission of the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports is to provide leadership, scholarship and outreach that transforms the face of youth sports in ways that maximize the beneficial physical, psychological, and social effects of participation for children and youth while minimizing detrimental effects.
The Student Advisory Council is a 16-member group which provides feedback on issues impacting educational athletics from a student’s perspective, and also is involved in the operation of MHSAA championship events and other programming. Members of the Student Advisory Council serve for two years, beginning as juniors. Eight new members are selected annually to serve on the SAC, with nominations made by MHSAA member schools.
The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,400 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract more than 1.4 million spectators each year.
PHOTO: Lapeer's Caycee Turczyn and Marlette's Connor Thomas host the online Captains Course, with this segment shot at DeWitt High School.
Performance of the Week: Macomb Dakota's Gracie Maloney
May 12, 2023
Gracie Maloney ♦ Macomb Dakota
Junior ♦ Softball
Maloney struck out 21 batters – for every one of her team’s outs – in Dakota’s 9-1 victory over Grosse Pointe North on May 1. She gave up only two hits and also hit a home run for the Cougars, who are ranked No. 1 in Division 1 in the latest state coaches association poll. Maloney is one of only 13 pitchers in state softball history to strike out 21 or more hitters during a seven-inning game.
Also a third baseman, Maloney started last season’s Division 1 Final at that position and threw an inning of relief as well as Dakota finished runner-up to Allen Park. She also plays basketball, and has committed to sign to play softball at University of North Texas. She’s considering studying sports management there as she aspires to become a college softball coach.
@mhsaasports 🥎 POW: Gracie Maloney #softball #strikeout #strike #performanceoftheweek #homerun #dakota #macombdakota #cougars #MHSAA #highschoolsports #tiktalk #interview #TikTok #mistudentaid #fyp @gracie ♬ Beat Automotivo Tan Tan Tan Viral - WZ Beat
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MHSAA.com's "Performance of the Week" features are powered by MI Student Aid, a part of the Office of Postsecondary Financial Planning located within the Michigan Department of Treasury. MI Student Aid encourages students to pursue postsecondary education by providing access to student financial resources and information. MI Student Aid administers the state’s 529 college savings programs (MET/MESP), as well as scholarship and grant programs that help make college Accessible, Affordable and Attainable for you. Connect with MI Student Aid at www.michigan.gov/mistudentaid and find more information on Facebook and Twitter @mistudentaid.
May 4: Braxton Brann, Ann Arbor Huron track & field - Report
April 27: Owen Patton, Vestaburg track & field - Report
April 20: Lilly Damm, Millington softball - Report
April 13: Larissa Huffman, Mackinaw City track & field - Report
April 6: Darius Acuff, Detroit Cass Tech basketball - Report
March 23: Regan Finkbeiner, Hemlock basketball - Report
March 16: Alaina Yaney, Grand Ledge gymnastics - Report
March 9: Braeden Davis, Dundee wrestling - Report
March 2: Gabriel Sanchez-Burks, Ann Arbor Pioneer swimming - Report
Feb. 23: Grace Sobczak, Marquette swimming - Report
Feb. 16: Kaitlynn Demers, Gibraltar Carlson competitive cheer - Report
Feb. 9: Indya Davis, West Bloomfield basketball - Report
Feb. 2: Braydon Sorenson, Onekama skiing - Report
Jan. 26: Shayna Hruska, Iron Mountain wrestling - Report
Jan. 19: Kayla Tafanelli, Warren Woods-Tower bowling - Report
Dec. 20: Brenden Paden, Riverview Gabriel Richard hockey - Report
Dec. 16: Tuff Scott, Holton bowling - Report
Dec. 9: Macey Fegan, Standish-Sterling basketball - Report
Dec. 2: Treyton Siegert, Gladwin football - Report
Nov. 24: Lily Witte, Dexter diving - Report
Nov. 17: Navea Gauthier, Shelby volleyball - Report
Nov. 10: Derek Huisman, Holland Christian soccer - Report
Nov. 3: Thomas Westphal, New Baltimore Anchor Bay cross country - Report
Oct. 27: Justin Wickey, Colon football - Report
Oct. 20: Owen DeMuth, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood tennis - Report
Oct. 13: Mia Melendez, Ann Arbor Greenhills golf - Report
Oct. 6: Shawn Foster, Grand Ledge football - Report
Sept. 30: Hannah Smith, Temperance Bedford swimming - Report
Sept. 22: Helen Sachs, Holland West Ottawa cross country - Report
Sept. 15: Nina Horning, Lake Orion volleyball - Report
Sept 8: Arturo Romero, Muskegon Oakridge soccer - Report
Sept. 1: Austin King, Midland Dow tennis - Report
Aug. 25: Olivia Hemmila, Troy Athens golf - Report
PHOTOS courtesy of the Maloney family.