Steamboat high school forms leadership symposium

Students to learn techniques, define goals through program

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— Steamboat Springs High School senior Isiah Forsyth knows the success of this basketball season doesn’t necessarily fall on his shoulders. But Forsyth admits the team’s success will be partly determined by whether he can become a more vocal leader.

He’ll get help in leadership techniques with a new program the high school will put on.

At the beginning of each sports season, the high school will have leadership symposiums where a successful guest speaker will talk to students about leadership. From there, students will break into their respective teams and define goals for the season.

The program isn’t limited to athletics and includes activities and other leadership classes.

The first one is at 12:30 p.m. Sunday at the high school. The speaker will be Ryan Wood, Under Armour founding member and owner of the Sweetwood Cattle Co. in North Routt County.

Forsyth will be among the players attending and hopes to learn some leadership fundamentals to take into his senior season.

“I feel like coaches have always wanted me to be a leader,” Forsyth said. “But I’ve never been a vocal or loud guy. I think they’re hoping I step up and become more demanding of people and run the offense. This will definitely help a bit. It will help with team bonding.”

Steamboat athletic director and boys basketball coach Luke DeWolfe said the idea was created and molded after the John Underwood presentations.

Underwood, founder and president of the American Athletic Institute, spoke in March to students and community members about the detrimental effects of alcohol and drug abuse on youths.

“It’s looking at how do we create good leaders,” DeWolfe said. “It’s how do we create a positive peer culture in athletics. Hopefully that carries through to our school population, as well.”

After hearing Wood speak, the players and students will meet with their coaches or teachers and plan what they want out of the year and leadership techniques that will help them achieve it.

“We want to create captains and leaders who are more than just kids that go out and flip a coin or shake hands,” DeWolfe said. “We want to give them leadership tools and teach them how to become leaders.”

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