Steamboat Springs High continues leadership symposium |

Steamboat Springs High continues leadership symposium

Luke Graham

Kit Croop goes through a dribbling drill Friday during practice. The Steamboat Springs High School athletic department will host its fourth leadership symposium on Sunday when Principal Kevin Taulman will speak.

— The Steamboat Springs High School athletic department will host its fourth speaker Sunday in its ongoing leadership symposiums.

The symposiums are part of a continuing approach to develop leaders in the school and the athletic department. On Sunday, high school Principal Kevin Taulman will speak to various members of winter sports teams and their coaches.

"It's knowing who you are truly," Taulman said about his talk. "You don't know what kind of a leader you are until you face adversity. We're really talking to kids about understanding what leadership is."

The talks began last school year with Ryan Wood, one of the original Under Armour founders and owner of the Sweetwood Cattle Co.

Other speakers included Kyle Craig, who teaches leadership training to major corporations and teaches at the University of Denver. Steamboat Springs boys basketball coach Luke DeWolfe also presented leadership views from Dr. Tim Elmore, author of the series "Habitudes."

"We needed to really affect the leaders of our athletic teams and programs in general," DeWolfe said. "That's where we started. It was, 'How do you hold kids more accountable?'"

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The series stems from a series of presentations by John Underwood. Underwood is the founder and president of the American Athletic Institute.

In addition to hearing him speak in Steamboat, DeWolfe attended a workshop with Underwood in New York. From there, DeWolfe said he started working with coaches and athletes on developing a plan to shape not only the athletic programs but also the entire student body.

When assembling leaders from sports teams, DeWolfe, teachers and athletes revamped the school's athletic contract. They added a captain's clause, which asserts that if a team captain hosts a party or provides alcohol he or she is kicked off the team.

They also adjusted the contract to have three levels. The first time an athlete breaks the athletic code they have to take a mandatory drug and alcohol class online, miss 30 percent of the season and re-sign the contract in front of their team.

The second time, the player is off the team, and a third offense means a player misses a full calendar year of athletic participation.

"We're trying to give accountability to the kids and their teams," DeWolfe said. "I really think that when I walk away from those leadership seminars it's one of the most important things we do at the high school. It's one of the best things for our athletes and their peer community."

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email

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