Bears join hundreds of student athletes at sportsman summit

Devin Henk, Reporter

On November 18, twelve students attended the second annual NCA, NSIAAA, NSAA Sportsmanship and Leadership Summit held at Lincoln North Star High School. In total, around 400 student-athletes from across the state also attended this event. This summit was conducted to spread information on how students can become better leaders, improve their teamwork, and become better people in general.  

“It’s going to help make me a better baseball player and a better team captain,” junior baseball player Omar Ramirez said.  

Every year, the summit’s main goal is to find young leaders and provide them with information that may help them change their life in a positive way. Students who show great leadership and sportsmanship can be selected by their coaches to attend this event exclusive to sophomores, juniors, and seniors. The athletes who are selected also must spread the idea of sportsmanship within their teams to the people who did not get to attend the event. Seniors are not usually selected because they will not be able to spread the message from the sportsmanship summit as long as someone in a lower grade could.  

The four key ideas that came out of this event were sportsmanship, relationships, opportunities, and leadership. The summit’s main idea of sportsmanship was introduced by Rob Miller, a motivational speaker from Proactive Coaching, a company with the goal of providing coaches, teams, and leaders with the blueprint for team leadership.
“You know what sportsmanship should be? Loud, encouraging, engaged, classy, rowdy. That is what we want sportsmanship to be,” Miller said during his speech. “We don’t want it to be boring, that’s what we don’t want it to be.” 

Along with sportsmanship, relationships were explained as a need within teams, and life in general. Motivational speaker Lori Thomas, who is also from Proactive Coaching, talked about Relationships and how we can connect with people on a deeper level by becoming vulnerable, following through on your words, choosing who you spend time together with, and by believing in yourself. Thomas also talked about leadership and how being a leader makes us better team members.  

“But what’s so important is our lives are about building relationships for our future success,” Thomas said during his speech. 

Tying everything together, speaker and author Kevin Kush explained how opportunities are always around us and that even bad outcomes can lead to new opportunities within our lives.
“My favorite speaker was Coach Kush” Ramirez said. 

Sportsmanship is out there in our day-to-day lives, not only in sports. We constantly see it all around us especially when we interact with others and put ourselves out there. Sportsmanship is how we act towards one another and add to the community through our words and actions.  

“I think it’s absolutely necessary.” athletics director Ryan Murtaugh said. “Sportsmanship is just respecting one another, so being respectful whether you win or lose competing, given everything you got, but at the end of the day you know, you’re going to shake hands with that young lady or that young man”