WCCO covers leadership program

Sports captains learn new skills during training


Grace Farley

Senior captain Kyle Hedblom conditions during an indoor practice. Hedblom, like other spring sports captains, participates in leadership development training.

Abby Intveld

According to Park’s leadership development consultant Kevin King, WCCO approached him about covering Park’s unique leadership program.

“There is not another school in the metro that has invested this much time, resources and space into this proactive captain training,” King said. “WCCO really wanted to showcase what the athletes and the school are doing.”

Senior varsity boys’ track captain Skyler Rudelius-Palmer said WCCO’s coverage of the training could prompt other schools to follow suit and start their own leadership development programs.

“It’ll show people what we’ve been accomplishing and how effective it is and also will hopefully give ideas to other schools on what they can do to improve their team and leadership,” Rudelius-Palmer said.  

King said the leadership development training, which is required for all captains, runs for 14 weeks every Thursday at 7 a.m. for the spring sports season and teaches captains how to be productive leaders.

“We focus on introducing (the captains) to certain leadership principles such as coaching, discipline and group cooperation that help them lead their teams the best they can,” King said.

Senior varsity softball captain Megan Perkins said the leadership training focuses on aspects of being a leader.

“We’ve talked about what it means to be a servant leader and being more of a listener, not actually always being in that direct leadership role but playing off of other people and understanding how your teammates feel,” Perkins said.

According to Rudelius-Palmer, the leadership training helps in addressing conflicts throughout the season.

“If there’s ever an issue with certain players or other problems, this training gives us skills to compromise and try to resolve the problem,” Rudelius-Palmer said.  

King said the program prepares the captains with skills that will help them beyond high school.

“The captain’s leadership training is designed to really help them prepare for the 21-century not only in the classroom or on their field of play but also when they graduate and go onto college and compete for jobs,” King said.

Perkins said Park does not receive a lot of attention for their sports and thinks the coverage will highlight the depth of leadership in athletics.

“This training is deeper than sports, so it’ll show that we’re more than athletes, and we care about what we’re doing as captains,” Perkins said. “It’s important to show that Park, as a community, is good with teamwork.”

According to King, WCCO will film sports practices and training sessions in the following weeks and will air the story mid-April.