COVID-19 Safety Information

Cortland Athletics to Begin Leadership Program This Fall

Cortland Athletics to Begin Leadership Program This Fall


The SUNY Cortland Athletic Department is proud to announce the launch this fall of the Cortland Athletics Leadership Program.

"The program's mission is to provide an ongoing an integrated approach to leadership development for our student-athletes that will be applicable to their athletic careers at Cortland and also will serve them in professional and personal endeavors after college," according to Director of Athletics Mike Urtz '94 M '00.

The program is designed to enhance the student-athletes experiences and maximize their potential to be successful academically, athletically and personally in the campus community.

The program will be headed by Molly O'Donnell M '16, Cortland's softball associate head coach. O'Donnell was responsible for a similar endeavor with the Columbia University softball team the past two years. She returned to Cortland this summer; she was previously a softball assistant coach during the 2015 and 2016 seasons. Other program committee members include Associate Athletic Director Courtney Wormuth, Assistant Athletic Director Jaclyn Lawrence '12 M '14, Softball Head Coach Julie Lenhart and Men's Soccer Head Coach Steve Axtell '08 M '14.

The four-phase program is not mandatory for student-athletes, but they are strongly encouraged to participate. Phase One focuses on all incoming freshmen and transfers, and will begin on Sunday, Sept. 2. The program will feature one meeting per month from September to December and from February to May. The topics covered include: "One Team, One Family;" Failure Recovery & Ownership; Personal Mastery; Personal Brand; Characteristic Assessment; Community; Communication & Conflict; and Transition to Leading Individuals.

Phase One will be held during the 2018-19 school year. In 2019-20, some of those who completed Phase One will move to Phase Two, and Phase One will be held again for newcomers.

The Four Phases of the Cortland Athletics Leadership Program

Phase One: Lead Yourself (Freshmen/Transfers)

* Assist student-athletes in obtaining the basic skills necessary to transition from high school to college.

* Develop personal mastery by exploring personality traits, purpose, and values.

* Encourage continual learning and development of personal brand and embody characteristics of effective leaders.

Phase Two: Lead Individuals (Sophomores) (Beginning in 2019)

* Develop effective communication skills and conflict resolution techniques.

* Focus on accountability and persuasion of teammates.

* Learn to lead by example.

Phase Three: Lead Groups (Juniors) (Beginning in 2020)

* Build effective leaders through developing interpersonal relationships.

* Explore motivational styles and goal setting.

* Examine Stages of Team Development and assist student-athletes in embracing their role and creating a vision.

Phase Four: Lead Team (Seniors) (Beginning in 2021)

* Focus on loyalty, character building, trust and developing a positive team culture.

* Examining their impact on underclassmen and how to foster future leaders.

* Further enhance leadership skills which will transition into their careers and personal endeavors.

* Assist student-athletes in obtaining the skills necessary to transition from college into their careers.