The Sunshine State Conference recently hosted its sixth annual Student-Athlete Advisory Committee E.L.I.T.E. Weekend September 8-9 in Orlando.
The E.L.I.T.E. acronym stands for “Experience and Leadership Ignite Teamwork and Excellence.” Each of the SSC’s nine member institutions was represented at the event by one male representative, one female representative, and an advisor.
On Saturday, the student-athletes had an opportunity to take the DiSC Personality Test. Once determining which of the four behavioral styles best described their personality, participants gathered with those who shared their style to assess the strengths and weaknesses resulting from their behavioral tendencies. Other activities throughout the weekend helped the students understand ways to communicate more effectively with those whose personality styles differed from their own.
"The SAAC E.L.I.T.E. conference was a great way for administrators and students from the SSC to join together to better understand our personal communication skills and styles and how they affect others," said Taylor Babcock, a women's golfer from Barry. "As a student-athlete, I felt that we were all able to create great relationships with each other, complete group tasks that were assigned, and were able to participate in a positive environment."
Saturday evening, the participants gathered at the SSC office in Winter Park for a scavenger hunt along Park Avenue. Teams of three student-athletes used clues to scurry along the mile-long strip of shops and restaurants, performing “challenges” along the way in order to obtain their next clue.
On Sunday, the group held its business session and selected two new conference SAAC officers. Babcock was elected as vice president, while Roberto “Bubba” Baroniel of Nova Southeastern was selected secretary. The NCAA Division II Make-A-Wish fundraiser, the SSC SAAC Donation Competition, and the Division II legislative grids were also topics of discussion.
Current SSC President and NCAA Division II National SAAC representative Woody Taylor of Eckerd gave a presentation on the responsible use of social media. Following Taylor’s remarks, the group created a “social media pledge" that states:
“As NCAA Division II student-athletes representing the Sunshine State Conference, we pledge to conduct our social media behavior in a respectable and professional manner. We will hold each other accountable to these standards, creating a positive yet competitive image for the student-athletes of today and tomorrow.”
A photo gallery from the weekend's activities is available on the SSC's Facebook page.
"Participating in this conference was a great experience and one that I will never forget because it showed me teamwork, positive sportsmanship, and ideas on how we can better the community around us through community service opportunities," Babcock said. "This weekend was a great way to get to know more administrators within the SSC, as well as make new friendships with student-athletes who I otherwise might have never met."
The annual E.L.I.T.E. Weekend is made possible through funding received as part of the NCAA Division II grant program.