Last Friday, January 22, 2021, in collaboration with the officers and enlisted personnel of the United States Marine Corps, we held our first “Bootcamp Experience” for the South Garner High School Men’s Soccer Team. For many of the athletes, this was one of the hardest physical challenges they have faced. But specifically for the team captains, the “Leaders”, who our leadership coaches have spent countless hours teaching and mentoring based upon the primary fundamentals and principals of effective team leadership, this was their first test to train with the knowledge they have received. For all accounts, we were pleased with the results.
When planning for a Bootcamp Experience, we aim towards clear, concise goals. This particular day was tailored, in part, around testing the Leaders in communication and effectiveness under stress, some of the critical weak-points in this year’s class of Captains at South Garner. But additionally, we wanted to provide a humbling experience. The Leaders, as expected, out-performed their subordinate teammates physically during the Bootcamp. But what was most interesting is how their level of communication improved as they became more comfortable serving as the leader of their unit. Without hesitation, the Leaders were yelling at their teammates in effort to push them past their threshold of exhaustion. And furthermore, we witnessed the Leaders withstand the time pressures and communicate clear directions to their subordinates in order to achieve the desired goals of each leadership reaction course.
At the end of the day, we awarded plaques to two of the Leaders for their ability to motivate and for their performance during the courses of the bootcamp, respectively, graded by instructors who are 2nd Lieutenants in the United States Marine Corps. The first award was the “Gung-Ho Award,” given to Sophomore, Josiah Perkins, the leader who received the highest marks by his coaches during the first leadership evaluation period and for his ability to motivate his peers. And finally the second award was the “Chesty Puller Award,” given to Junior, Logan DeHaan, for his exceptional report card during the days leadership challenges. In addition, Mr. DeHaan also recorded the most amount of pull-ups with a score of 18.