The Centennial Conference hosted the 13th annual Snell-Shillingford Symposium at Haverford last weekend. Female athlete representatives and coaches from the conference’s member schools participated in sessions designed to empower women in the coaching profession and to encourage them to take up the legacy of those who have gone before them.
Muhlenberg was represented at the three-day event by two coaches, Cindy Wilson (assistant lacrosse) and Rhonwen Peters (assistant field hockey), who attended as a presenter and mentor, respectively, and two senior athletes, Davi Gordon (volleyball) and Jessica Shegoski (lacrosse).
Here is what Gordon had to say about her experience:
… Students and coaches from each school in the Centennial Conference attended this all-female conference to learn, share and present about women in sports and coaching. Various coaches and representatives from the conference presented about the history of Title IX, the different responsibilities a coach may have, creating a practice and season plan, developing a coaching philosophy, and sportsmanship and ethics in coaching.
I wanted to attend this symposium because I have a passion for volleyball, and with graduation quickly approaching, I know that I want to continue to keep the sport as a major part of my life. Although I’m not sure what level I ultimately want to coach, this conference definitely confirmed my desire to coach volleyball in the future. I have had some great (and not so good) coaches in the past, and I think that my coaches have helped me develop into the person I am today. I would love to be able to have the same impact on other girls, and being able to see their progress will be very rewarding!
And Shegoski gave this insight into the Symposium:
The Snell-Shillingford Symposium is a weekend full of education and fun. I attended the Symposium because I have always had a love for coaching and teaching a sport I love to other girls. It’s a great feeling to see their eyes light up when they master a new concept and fall in love with the game. This is also the reason that I am considering a career coaching either at the college or high school level.
I learned so much throughout the weekend, not only about sports and females, but also about myself.
During one of the sessions, presented by the Bryn Mawr soccer coach Erin DeMarco, we did a personality test that grouped you into colors (Davi, Cindy and I were Blues). These colors gave insight into our personalities; there were the builders, the planners, the realtors and the adventurers. Erin then let us know how each of these personalities got along during a LONG road trip.
The builders were the one who had already loaded the directions into the GPS that was of course already set up on the dash, read the directions a couple times online, printed out the Google Maps version of the directions, and just in case none of those worked packed the 50 state atlas in the back of the car. They also have already mapped out the trip down the minute (including bathroom stops).
The planners are the ones at the hood of the car with the atlas spread out. They are looking at the route printed by the builders and thinking to themselves “well what if we instead took this road, it would add 10 minutes but we would hit traffic, or this road we wouldn’t have to pay a toll but again more mileage.” The planners are not going to be ready to leave until every possibility is looked over.
Then there are the relators (Davi, Cindy and I). We are the “moms” of the group, and we are already sitting in the car with a snack packed for each person in the group, making sure that no one is hungry and trying to find out how everyone’s day is going so far, while at the same time trying to make sure everyone is comfortable for the long trip ahead.
Lastly, there are the adventurers. These are your friends who are always last minute (you know you are thinking of that person right now). They come running up the driveway two minutes before the builder has planned to leave (pan to the builder constantly checking their watch), throwing their duffel into the trunk and screaming, “road trip here we come.”
As we sat and listened to Erin describe this scenario we all realized that we were the person that she was describing and that we could place our teammates and friends into the other roles, which helped us to learn the best ways to work within a team and thrive as a team.
Overall the Symposium was a fun, long, amazing weekend that I would tell any female athlete in the Centennial Conference to attend if they even have the slightest draw towards coaching in the future. And that doesn’t mean you have to want to coach at the college or high school level – the pee wee leagues matter just as much.
The above picture of Shegoski (in pink sweater) and Gordon (to her right) at one of the sessions was taken by a former Muhlenberg Symposium attendee – Jamie Gluck ’03, head women’s soccer coach at Haverford.