On Monday, October 15th, the sophomore members of the Futures program gathered for their second event of the fall semester. It was with great admiration to welcome Rebecca Lobo and Steve Rushin to Amherst College!
Rebecca Lobo is one of the greatest female basketball players of all-time. Lobo played college basketball at the University of Connecticut, where as a captain her senior year, she helped lead the Huskies to a national championship and perfect record. During her time at UCONN, Lobo’s accomplishments extended well beyond the basketball court. In 1995, she was named Academic All-American of the Year in women’s basketball, a Rhodes Scholar candidate, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa. The following year Lobo earned a gold medal playing for the United States Women’s Basketball Olympic Team during the Summer Olympic Games. During the inaugural season of the Women’s National Basketball Association, Lobo was one of the first two women to be signed to the WNBA. She retired from basketball in 2003 and has since been inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. Although no longer a player, Lobo still remains involved in the sport as a WNBA and women’s college basketball analyst and reporter.
Steve Rushin is an author, journalist, and sports writer. His travels have taken him all over the world from the Arctic Circle to Indonesia. Rushin’s work has been featured in: The Best American Travel Writing, TimeMagazine, The New York Times, and Sports Illustrated, of which he has been a long-time contributor. Rushin was a four-time finalist for the National Magazine Award, and he was named the National Sportswriter of the Year by the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association in 2006. In addition to his newspaper and magazine publications, Rushin has authored multiple full-length novels. Currently, Rushin is finalizing his second memoir, Nights in White Castle, which follows his first, Sting-Ray Afternoons. Rushin and Lobo reside in Connecticut with their four daughters.
The event began with a warm welcome from Franny Daniels, a sophomore student-athlete on the field hockey team. Growing up in Connecticut, Franny and her family are long-time supporters of Rebecca Lobo and was excited to have the opportunity to introduce Lobo and Rushin to the group!
Following Franny’s welcome, Lobo and Rushin took the stage to share some wisdom with the group. They began their talk speaking about how they met…an unfavorable article Rushin wrote about the WNBA and Lobo’s confrontation of this article! All humor aside, Lobo and Rushin spoke about various aspects concerning communication and giving and receiving feedback.
Rushin highlighted the idea of criticism and listening to your critics. As a journalist, he often grows attached to his pieces of writing. Although he might view a particular piece as “the best thing he has ever written,” often the editor does not share a similar viewpoint. Rushin spoke about the challenge of facing the criticisms of the editor, embracing the feedback, and acknowledging how the feedback will help him grow as a journalist.
Lobo spoke a great deal about her time at UCONN; something that many of those in attendance could relate to being student-athletes themselves. She emphasized the ideas of holding teammates accountable; being an energy-giver vs. and energy-vampire (“sucking” away the positive nature of the team culture); and the value of honest-self appraisal and communication.
After the thought-provoking speech, Lobo and Rushin opened the floor to the attendees for questions. The student-athletes asked very engaging questions such as:
- What are your recommendations for open dialogue, critiques, and communication to your teammates and coaches?
- How do you deal with not being the star athlete?
- In what ways can we avoid being the energy-vampire?
- What are your main takeaways from your sophomore year of college?
We appreciated Lobo and Rushin’s meaningful and well-thought out answers.
Next, the student-athletes engaged in an exercise to help practice their self-appraisal, communication, and feedback (both giving and receiving). In this activity, student-athletes reflected on their own personal characteristics and attributes that contribute to their leadership styles. After reflecting on their own personal characteristics, they had the chance to consider those of their teammates. At the end of the exercise the student-athletes had the opportunity to practice their communication skills and their ability to receive and give feedback with one another.
The final aspect of the Self-Scouting Report is the most important. It is here where the student-athletes take time to write down specific actions that they will take moving forward. Each student-athlete filled out an action sheet. Doing this enabled the student-athletes to think of ways in which they can take what they learned Monday evening and apply it to the upcoming year.
We are so honored to have Rebecca Lobo and Steve Rushin join us for an evening with the Amherst LEADS Futures sophomore group.
What’s next for Amherst LEADS?
- Monday, October 29thàFirst-Year Intensive Ready to Role Event with Semi Ojeleye from the Boston Celtics
- Tuesday, October 30thàCaptains Sharing Experience Event featuring a Skype interview with Missy Franklin
- Thursday, November 1stàFutures (Junior Group) Conflict Resolution Event with hostage negotiator Jack Cambria