LA Dodgers manager and former SD Padres coach Dave Roberts was an honored guest speakerlast week, at Santa Fe Christian (SFC) Schools. Roberts spoke to a room of 40 varsity athletes, members of SFC’s Leadership Academy, aiming to better understand the traits of effective leadership.
Santa Fe’s Leadership Academy is officially called the "NUNA Leadership Academy" because of the generous sponsorship from the Senior Executive Team at NUNA Baby Products. The Academy is led by SFC’s mens basketball head coach Chad Bickley. The Academy is an innovative program devoted to the development of leadership skills in SFC’s varsity athletes. Student leaders meet before school to participate in seminars and student-conducted activities to learn effective leadership strategies.
Most Santa Fe Christian high schoolers are multiple sport athletes, many of whom were selected to participate in this college-level Leadership program. Those in attendance spent an hour with Roberts, asking questions and listening to his wisdom on his sports management style.
Students gleaned insight from Roberts’ 30-year baseball career by asking questions such as “What makes an effective leader?” and “What is the most rewarding part about leading a team?” Roberts included that effective leadership begins with strong relationships and communication skills. He shared stories about his own leadership experiences as a team player, coach, and team manager. He also encouraged students to stay true to their established identity through their business, team, and life ventures. Roberts noted that the most rewarding part about managing a team is watching others achieve their goals through close mentorship.
Whether in the locker room, during practice, or competing in a game, SFC athletes embody the spirit of a champion – one of character, integrity, honesty, resilience, and perseverance. Due to programs like the Leadership Academy, many SFC athletes are bound for collegiate sports and are equally successful beyond the playing field.