Two Tiger Student-Athletes Attend NCAA Career In Sports Forum
Springfield, Ohio — Two Wittenberg University student-athletes were among 300 participants representing schools throughout the nation and across all three NCAA divisions in attendance at the four-day NCAA Career in Sports Forum in Indianapolis, Ind., June 7-10.
To be selected to attend that NCAA Career in Sports Forum, student-athletes must be nominated by their academic advisor and complete an application that includes essay questions about their goals, passions and career aspirations. At the end of the process, softball pitcher Rachel Ross, class of 2014 from Westerville, Ohio, and women's basketball guard Amber Lara, class of 2015 from Oak Park, Ill., were selected to gain a closer look at their chosen field.
Ross said she is interested in coaching after graduating from Wittenberg, while Lara's interest in the field currently is to become a sports agent. Both said they learned a great deal at the forum, including how to apply for and make the most of internship opportunities.
"Experience is the key for this profession," said Lara, who started 21 games for the Tigers as a freshman and finished third on the team with 47 assists while leading the squad with 38 steals. "Networking is extremely important in this field, and it is necessary to establish as many contacts as possible."
That networking started at the conference, which featured four straight days of talks and group sessions that started at 7 a.m. and ran until 9 p.m.
"Not only did I learn a lot, but I got to meet so many student athletes from around the United States and hear about their experiences and goals," said Ross, an All-NCAC selection in 2011 who has led the Tigers in pitching victories each of the last two seasons. "I can honestly say I now have contacts in all corners of the country."
To prepare for a professional future in athletics, participants learned how to assess personal values and set goals. Speakers and panelists offered their perspectives on the industry, and participants were given opportunities to assess their leadership styles.
"We learned a lot about how to prepare for our careers in the near future," said Ross, a first-team Capital One Academic All-District honoree in 2012. "We talked about our core values, how to be well-prepared at an interview, how to transition from an athlete to an employee, the importance of networking, and that experience is very important toward working your way to a career you want and enjoy.
"We got to take the DiSC assessment, which tells you the type of leadership style you have and teaches you how your style deals with certain situations compared to other people's styles. We got to listen to some great motivational speakers that talked about how preparation is key to succeeding and the importance of finding the ‘why' in your life."
Written By: Ryan Maurer