Leadership Development

3-day virtual Emerging Leaders Seminar kicks off

More than 300 graduate assistants and interns from NCAA member institutions, conference offices and affiliate organizations will gather electronically starting today for the 2021 Emerging Leaders Seminar.

NCAA to roll out Leadership Collective platform

Some of the most accomplished people of color in the Association who are senior administrators and coaches will get increased visibility from athletics directors, conference commissioners, college presidents and chancellors with the launch this winter of an online platform, the NCAA Leadership Collective.

Student-athletes gain insight on activism through Athletes Using Their Power series

Leadership development’s Athletes Using Their Power series has given student-athletes a better understanding of how to use their voice and presence when addressing social injustices and other important topics in intercollegiate athletics.

Athletes Using Their Power (A4)

Now more than ever, student-athletes use their platforms to speak out about the injustices in our country. As they strive for a more inclusive world, they are looking to their institutions’ athletic departments and communities to evaluate their polices, identify change opportunities and be leaders in fighting against injustices.

Our mission in leadership development is to educate and empower student-athletes, coaches, and athletics administrators through transformative experiences that develop effective leaders, cultivate an inclusive community and enhance the college sports landscape.

In alignment with this mission, NCAA leadership development has created a four-part virtual series that will educate student-athletes on the power they have and how they can use it to effectively enact meaningful change. Weekly sessions will be engaging and center on action, preparing student-athletes to be effective change leaders on campus and within their communities.  

Sessions will take place at 6 p.m. EST and run for 90 minutes on Sundays throughout the month of August. Each topic will be led by subject matter experts and/or practitioners. Registration links will be available the Monday prior to each session in the program schedule below. Participants will only be able to register for one session at a time. All sessions will be recorded and posted following their completion.

This virtual program is accessible only to student-athletes. Only student-athletes will be eligible to register to attend the program meetings and we ask that no coaches or administrators are present with student-athletes when they tune in to A4. There is a plan to hold a similar program for administrators and coaches in the coming months, but we ask that the August series remains solely student-athlete participants.

Program schedule:

Address Difficult Conversations

Participants will gain a skillset to effectively address issues of injustice and inequality that they observe or face within their daily lives. Registered attendees will explore how they can start the conversation on these topics, different approaches to discussing difficult subjects and the role of identity in addressing these issues. Facilitators will create a brave space for participants to engage with peers around their experiences, emphasizing listening and learning from one another.

Activism for the Student-Athlete

Athletes have stood on the frontlines of protests surrounding racial inequality, with examples in college sports including kneeling for the National Anthem and refusing to partake in donor events and workouts. It is evident that activism takes various forms. During this session, participants will learn what is activism, how it plays a role in sports and how they can use their voice to create change within their teams, campuses and communities. Participants will hear from a panel of student-athlete activists about their experiences, triumphs and challenges.

Allyship Best Practices

Allyship is a critical to support many different groups and individuals, but the term is often misused and misunderstood. During this session, participants will learn what allyship looks like and how they can show up as an ally. The participants will gain an understanding of the importance of self-awareness, education and empathy as it relates to allyship.

Action Sustainability

Participants will engage in conversation on how they can best make this a movement and not a moment in history. This session will talk about the importance and power of voting, continuous education and changing culture so that diversity, inclusion, equity, and justice are imbedded into the institution and community’s structure.


For more information about the A4 programming series, please contact us at ldevelopment@ncaa.org.

NCAA announces 2020-21 Pathway Program participants

The NCAA leadership development office, in partnership with the Board of Governors Committee To Promote Cultural Diversity and Equity, has selected 20 senior-level administrators to participate in the NCAA Pathway Program, with the goal of...

NCAA To Host Career in Sports Forum

Close to 400 NCAA student-athletes will have the opportunity to get career guidance and network with athletics administrators and sports industry experts virtually May 27-29 at the 2020 NCAA Career in Sports Forum.

Career in Sports Forum continues with virtual opportunities

Although many leadership development programs were canceled due to COVID-19, the 2020 Career in Sports Forum will take place in a virtual format.

Achieving Communication Success Workshop

A three-day immersive educational experience in which senior-level administrators craft and perfect their personal messaging, this program helps participants develop communication skills that are vital to expanding their leadership capabilities in college sports. The program strengthens skills participants need in their current roles and prepares them to thrive in future opportunities. This workshop is an outgrowth of the NCAA Board of Governors’ commitment to diversity and inclusion.

What You’ll Learn

With the help of communication industry experts, participants develop strategies and tactics to learn how to deliver their message — both internally to campus constituents and externally to media representatives, hiring managers and invested stakeholders. Through on- and off-camera interviews, group discussions and real-time feedback, participants improve their communication skills, both personally and professionally. Key programming components include understanding an audience, communicating through the media, the art of the effective presentation and how to manage internal communication as a senior leader.

At the heart of the Achieving Communication Success Workshop sits the development of a personal narrative: a five-minute statement that answers the intimidating and decisive “tell me about yourself” question so often posed in the job search. Those who complete the workshop emerge with a renewed ability to tell their story, preparing them to serve as their biggest advocate and secure a job offer when presented the opportunity. After integrating into a supportive cohort and engaging with deeply invested consultants, participants return to campus with a refined ability to communicate effectively at all levels and a strengthened self-awareness that translates to future career and personal success.

Who is Eligible

Ethnic minority senior-level athletics administrators from NCAA member schools or conference offices are eligible for selection. Leadership development staff members identify participants by consulting with NCAA governance staff, member-led committees and affiliate organizations.

This workshop is offered twice each year. The October session takes place in conjunction with the Women Leaders in College Sports National Convention, so Women Leaders collaborates with NCAA leadership development to select those participants.


For information about the Achieving Communication Success Workshop, email ldevelopment@ncaa.org.

Leadership Development Realigns To Better Support the Association

The NCAA leadership development function has taken a more focused approach to the learning and development efforts provided to the membership and national office with a strategic realignment of its programs and senior personnel. Providing...

Leadership Launchpad

Transformative programs. Skilled athletics leaders. Thriving student-athletes. How NCAA leadership development works to meet these goals and prepare athletics departments for what comes next.


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