Academy Student-Athletes Complete First-Ever USA Wrestling Leadership Course
Jessica Kemgne and Carlos Guzman, two Beat the Streets Academy students, recently completed the first-ever, seven-week Athlete Leadership Development Course run by USA Wrestling.
The course, which met via Zoom every Tuesday, consisted of discussions, research projects, and guest speakers. According to Guzman, there was a heavy emphasis on the use of empathy in leadership roles.
One major topic touched upon by the course was how to adapt the sport of wrestling to circumstances where physical contact may be limited. While being off the mats was admittedly difficult for Guzman, he says the lessons he learned through the program made him think more about how to find solutions.
“It’s a shame we couldn’t be on the mat, but the course really taught me the importance of having a growth mindset so we can keep pushing through difficult situations,” said Guzman.
According to Kemgne, another focus of the course was redefining the meaning of leadership. While Kemgne says she knew vaguely about what leadership meant, she didn’t see herself in the role of a leader.
“The course really showed me that I could really be a leader,” Kemgne said. “They were very inclusive and showed what we should do when we are in a higher role.”
Following the completion of the course, both Kemgne and Guzman are excited to apply their newly learned skills to their own wrestling teams.
“I know there are lots of things I can improve on,” Guzman said. “I want to be better at listening to the problems my teammates have so I can help as many people as I can.”