INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. --- The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) held its first-ever leadership retreat last weekend. The two-day event from February 9-10 was held off campus at the Quaker Hill Conference Center in Richmond, Ind. The retreat highlighted a series of workshops and activities focusing on training and development in the areas of leadership, personal growth and community engagement.
Under the guidance of Commissioner Mo Harty and the conference's SAAC executive board, the two-day retreat kicked off exercises targeting team building and leadership development.
Day one of the event concluded with an activity that narrowed down what helps a NCAA Division III student-athlete grow and excel on and off the playing surfaces. This lesson broke down the student-athletes wishes and needs from an academic, physical, mental and leadership level.
The student-athletes were then separated into four teams for the Heartland games, which included four sections of competition. The Heartland games ended day one with a competitive, team bonding experience that included rounds of category scramble, trivia and more.
Day two of the retreat was anchored by a two-hour interactive session led by Trace Hitz of Hitz and Branding. The professional branding strategist with more than 20 years of marketing experience in the sports industry examined how student-athletes can brand themselves on social media. Hitz reviewed multiple social media profiles on platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn to focus the group on how they can put their best self forward.
Overall, 20-plus Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference student-athletes from nine of the HCAC's institutions were in attendance to develop personally and professionally, while learning key concepts to take back to campus.
From left to right: Dasia Beck (Manchester), Mason Rapp (Defiance), Kori Rudolph (Transylvania)