Spotlight: South River

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Spotlight: South River

This past school year South River High School became the first high school in Anne Arundel County to implement Lead ‘Em Up into their Athletic Program.

Taking a ramped approach, six teams had an opportunity to experience the program, a program used by thousands of teams across the country and based out of Maryland.

Athletic Director Dave Klingel was introduced to the program a few months before the start of the 2023/2024 school year.

“We decided to start Lead ‘Em Up this year with a one-foot-in approach. I knew of other schools in Maryland that were using the program and raved about it. When Adam came and completed our first in-person session with Girls Soccer and Football, we instantly asked how we can get more. The energy of the program is palpable. Next year we are going all-in”

Heading into the 2024/2025 school year South River will be implementing Lead ‘Em Up throughout the entire athletic program allowing each varsity team to experience the program.

As Christine Flanagan, Head Girls Soccer Coach shared, the impact of the program was absolutely felt by her team.

“I was so happy our team got a chance to be part of the program this year. Lead ‘Em Up felt like our stepping stone from a good team to a great team. Our team elevated in a way I hadn’t seen before. Throughout the season I saw a new mentality and it was a mentality that had a lot to do with the Lead ‘Em Up exercises we did throughout the year,” said Coach Flanagan.

The key to a successful leadership program is the ability to engage the athlete and that is what Klingel wanted to see.

“I could see the players were all-in,” Klingel said.

Senior Basketball standout James Crimaudo who experienced the program in the winter said, “I believe Lead ‘Em Up took an already amazing culture here at South River and made it that much better. It helped solidify all we do within our programs and provided us new vocabulary we use each day.

As South River heads into the 2024/2025 school year, they will be partnering with Lead ‘Em Up to deliver three Campus Days at the start of each season. Campus Days are 4-6 hour on-site Leadership Workshops where teams sign up for customized 60-min sessions throughout the day.

In addition, select teams will be going through additional training sessions all throughout their seasons with an assigned “leadership coach” from Lead ‘Em Up.

“It’s certainly an investment but it’s an investment in what we believe is the right thing, the development of our student-athletes. We can’t wait to see the results,” Klingel shared.

Have fun and #LeadEmUp

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