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Rosemont Student-Athlete Selected for NCAA Leadership Training

Katie DuBoff - August 4, 2021

Brittney Strauss photoBrittney Strauss ’22 was selected to participate in the NCAA Student Athlete Leadership Training (SALT) program this summer.

Brittney is a political science and sports governance major with a minor in leadership and ethics. She is on the Rosemont softball team, an athletic game day worker, student ambassador, pre-law society member, athletic department intern, and the student representative of the Institute of Ethical Leadership and Social Responsibility.

Below, Brittney reflects on this experience in her own words:

On June 17th and 18th, I participated in one of the most life-changing events I have ever experienced. Rosemont’s former assistant athletic director, Ashley Hodges, encouraged me to apply for the NCAA Student Athlete Leadership Training (SALT) back in April. I had heard of this event from a few other student athletes, but this year was a little different due to Covid-19. The event was being held virtually instead of in person, but I was still eager to participate. The application process was extensive short-answer questions that were opinion-based and personal. You had to describe your weaknesses, strengths, successes, and failures. Only three student-athletes could be nominated from each NCAA-affiliated school and only about 200 student-athletes total were accepted to participate. I couldn’t believe I was accepted! Out of thousands of applicants, they chose me. The moment was surreal. I wasn’t sure why - why would they pick me over everyone else? I didn’t find out why until the event started.

The event was two days long and we met for four hours on each day. Those eight hours changed my life, perspective, and motive. We all met virtually on a platform similar to Zoom. First, all of us were in a huge meeting being greeted by the NCAA. Next, we introduced ourselves and broke down into smaller teams for intimate sessions. In those sessions is where I learned the most. We talked about what it meant to be a leader, our leadership DNA, and how we see ourselves in this world. It was hard to be so vulnerable in a room full of other athletes I had never met before from all over the country. But that is when I realized why I was chosen. Speaking with these individuals about their experiences inside and out of sports and how they see themselves made me reflect on why I was meant to be there.

The most important takeaway I had from the training was the in-depth conversations about our core values. We participated in an exercise where there were about 30 values listed and we could only choose three that meant the most to us. Mine were love, growth, and ethics. The importance of this was to show every decision we make will be grounded in these three values. Even if it seems like a bad decision and even if the decision is not the most popular one, we learned that if you stick to your values, then you cannot be wrong.

I would also like to share two quotes from the training that really stuck out to me. 1) “Failure doesn’t exist, it’s a figment of your imagination.” – Kobe Bryant and 2) “The two most important days in your life are the day you were born, and the day you find out why.” – Mark Twain. There are so many things I learned about myself and learned about others that I will always reflect on for the rest of my life. I wish I could put how I felt and what I learned in words but the impact this training had on me can’t be put in words. I am just so grateful for this opportunity and to Rosemont for helping me along the way.

I hope to one day be an athletic director who impacts future student-athletes the way my athletic directors have impacted me. This training will forever be with me, wherever I go, and whoever I come across in my future career.