Drexel’s Sport Management program launched the Drexel Sports Leadership Academy in 2008. The Sports Leadership Academy addresses one of the most important societal needs — the need to develop effective leaders.
By focusing its efforts on the ways in which sports can serve as a driver for social good, shaping the leaders of tomorrow through their positive, character-building sports experiences, the Sports Leadership Academy can make a meaningful and sustainable contribution.
In the face of ethical and moral dilemmas that include youth baseball eligibility violations, parental abuse of young athletes, sports violence on the fields and in the stands, drug and steroid violations by athletes, and persistent rules violations at the college, amateur, and professional levels, it is incumbent upon sports management as a discipline to turn today’s ethical challenges into opportunities for leadership success — both on the playing fields and in life. The Sports Leadership Academy aims to do just that by developing and delivering sports-related research and programs built around the concepts of character development, classroom success, and competitive excellence, which when taken together demonstrate how sports can be used as a vehicle for developing a new generation of leadership talent.
Drexel's Sports Leadership Academy emphasizes the effectiveness of life-skills training and character development through sport. It is built on a program based in theory and practice, offering both research opportunities and an array of programs and initiatives. The Academy emphasizes the role sports can play in teaching fundamental character-based values, encouraging academic success in the classroom, demonstrating the importance of good sportsmanship, providing leadership opportunities, and enhancing an understanding of the real impact of sports as a force for positive change.
Each time a coach or athlete steps into a practice, or onto the field on game day, an opportunity for learning presents itself. Those involved — from athletes to coaches to parents and administrators — must be charged with fostering winning results that span beyond the win-loss record. From a research perspective, the Academy offers a distinct position in the marketplace in that it seeks to create synergies between theory and practice — to integrate knowledge into informed coaching, training, and play.
Some say that leadership cannot be taught. The philosophy behind the Academy is that leaders are shaped in large part by their athletic experiences, and that opportunities to hone leadership at all levels will enhance the nature, the meaning, and ultimately the importance of sport. To this end, Drexel’s Sports Leadership Academy aims to accomplish the following three core objectives:
- Develop a comprehensive program of research around the influence sport participation has on the leadership capabilities of individuals that includes longitudinal data collection designed to inform and shape the work of the Sports Leadership Academy.
- Develop a series of educational workshops, seminars, and certificate programs tailored to athletes, parents and coaches that emphasize the important virtues, values, and leadership principles that can be derived from sports competition.
- Disseminate cutting-edge knowledge to researchers and practitioners in the field of sport leadership through the development of a website, quarterly e-newsletter, and annual online journal.