LEAD is Deerfield’s leadership program for student-athletes.  We provide two opportunities for leadership training – The Captain’s Council, a required experience for team captains, and the Student-Athlete Leadership Course, an optional opportunity open to all students.

Student-athletes are leaders on their teams, in their classrooms, and among the community.  LEAD encourages student-athletes to reflect on their roles as campus leaders and hold themselves accountable to higher standards.  We incorporate Deerfield’s core values (link to: https://deerfield.edu/about/) into our leadership programming, with special attention to three specific values:

  • Connectedness
  • Reflection and balance
  • Shared experiences

Captain’s Council

The Captain’s Council program provides leadership training for fall, winter, and spring team captains. We meet as a group during the preseason to create a sense of community and shared experience in advance of the upcoming season.  Captains meet over the course of three days to examine their individual leadership styles, develop core values, and establish individual and team goals for the season.  Our sessions are discussion-based, focusing on self-reflection and creating dialog to support holistic development.

Student-athletes have opportunities to connect as a captain unit and also with captains from other teams.  This format provides an opportunity to learn from other athletes and encourages strategy and information-sharing across sports.

Goals of the Captain’s Council Program         

  • Connect captains with one another to provide support on a peer-to-peer level
  • Establish a “We before Me” mindset before beginning the season
  • Define opportunities to build an inclusive team through shared experiences
  • Encourage captains to find balance between the LEAD programming and their own visions

Student-Athlete Leadership Course

This course aims to provide Deerfield students with the skills and training necessary to be an effective leader on and off the field.  We give preference to 11th and 12th grade (and PG) applicants because it is helpful to have team experience to reflect upon while working one’s way through the course content.  

At Deerfield, our definition of leadership focuses on a state of being and actions, not necessarily on a ranking or title.  Through case studies and the analysis of leaders, coaches, and athletes, we discuss the responsibilities associated with being a team leader, qualities of effective leadership, and one’s own role within a larger group.  Some of our course topics include Accountability and Setting Standards, The Power of Positivity and Mental Health, and Gender Equity in Sport.  By the conclusion of the course, students learn how to become effective and culturally competent leaders in the community and beyond.

Course Goals

  • Explore leadership styles and identify personal strengths and weaknesses through self-reflection
  • Create standards of accountability that support and encourage a positive team culture
  • Gain confidence in yourself and your ability to lead others with humility and grace
  • Strengthen cultural competency skills and learn to utilize them to drive change within yourself, teammates and the community

Leaders for Life

The overarching goal of the LEAD program is simple: Be Worthy.  Deerfield students utilize their leadership skills throughout their time at Deerfield and well beyond their days in the Valley.  LEAD provides an important opportunity for leadership education and self-evaluation to prepare Deerfield students to be leaders for life.

For more information about the LEAD program, please contact

Gabi Biscottini, gbiscottini@deerfield.edu

Brooke Fernandez, bfernandez@deerfield.edu

Jess Lapachinski, jlapachinski@deerfield.edu