Towson University recently celebrated its 10 Year Anniversary partnering with LeaderShape to offer the Institute program at their institution. We are excited to highlight some history and personal experiences from administrators, participants, and facilitators in this blog series.
This post is from 2008 Institute graduate Chris "CP" Patterson. CP graduated from Towson University with a bachelor's degree in Sports Management and a minor in Business. He lives in Maryland with his wife Jenna and dog Raegan. He works full-time both as a Startup co-founder for PLayerLeak and as an IT Project Management consultant for the State Department. In his free time, CP can be found weight training, reading a good book, listening to music, watching a good movie, hanging out with friends, traveling, or building up his crazy sneaker collection. CP's current goal is to help build the world's largest sports network.
How did you get involved with LeaderShape?
My supervisor nominated me for LeaderShape’s Institute program during my sophomore year of college. At the time I was a student employee in the admissions office call center, assisting prospective students and their parents with checking on the status of their applications to attend Towson University. Up to that point, I had been a good student and enjoyed the typical college experience, but had mostly just been “going through the motions”. My supervisor thought it would be a great jump-start for me to participate in the Institute. So, I agreed to do it. I’ll always appreciate the fact that she considered me for the program.
What from your experience at the Institute do you still carry with you?
So much. I still carry with me the awesome memories with my family cluster, the fun activities we participated in together, the workshops, and being around other visionaries and motivated students. There were late night card games, board games, and snowball fights during the day; it was a lot of fun. The camaraderie was awesome. I would say you really find out a lot about yourself and, in the process, share that with others, which brings you closer. I formed great bonds with a few of my suite mates with whom I still try and keep in touch. I remember how when we got back to campus from our session, the majority of our family cluster would still get together to just hang out. We were all so used to being together during that week and we had all gotten so close that it was hard NOT to be together at first. So we would pick someone’s place and all meet up to just hang out, watch a movie or just talk about the highlights of the week. It was pretty cool.
It was great to see that a number of the students who attended my session would go on to become more involved and assume leadership positions in and around the University. There would be students who would go on to join SGA, lead Greek organizations, run campus shops or centers, mentor other students, create their own sports clubs, become a key player on their varsity sports team, and build organizations of their own, among other things. You really saw students put into action their plans to reach the goals they set for themselves and step up to lead and help in shaping the future of TU’s student body. It was an honor to be a part of that.
Tell us about PlayerLeak
PlayerLeak is a player development network that helps athletes get to the next level. The platform allows a player to create a digital profile to help build their sports network, promote themselves, and collaborate with other people in the community to progress.
PlayerLeak has a unique feature called a Sports Map, our collaborative goal setting tool. This is where the player can list out goals they would like to achieve and their coaches, teammates, fans and other connections can offer advice and support to help them along. It’s a great way for athletes to help each other get to the next level, and stay motivated and encouraged in their pursuit of achieving their goals.
We believe that by building a dedicated sport networking community, with a focus on collaboration and goal achievement, that we will help participants increase their opportunities and enjoy an overall enhanced sports experience.
What from your Institute experience has influenced or helped you with this project?
One of the most helpful things from my Institute experience that has helped me with this project, and in life in general, is practicing goal setting. At the Institute, we had binders that we carried with us throughout the week, which we used during our group activities to document and complete exercises. By the time we left the institute, we all listed goals in our binder we would like to achieve as we returned to campus. I was fortunate to have achieved at least two of the major goals I set for myself (starting a club basketball team and joining a fraternity). This simple practice of listing goals and going for them is something I have practiced since my institute experience, and I strongly believe that it has helped me to stay focused and excel in the things that I want to do. From starting this project, to the day to day operations of overseeing the project, to goals for our team to reach together, to where we are now, goal setting has helped increase our chances of succeeding in whatever it is we have set out to accomplish
We believe in goal setting so much that it has become a central theme of PlayerLeak, and the inspiration behind our Sports Map feature. This feature is a collaborative goal-setting tool that allows users to list a sports goal and three steps to achieve this goal (or you can list 3 individual goals). You are able to receive comments, positive encouragement, or advice on your Sports Map and the goals you have set, from your connections. It also shows you your connections with Sports Map so that you can return the favor and share support or advice. It’s an easy way to get your in-season/off-season goals down and stay motivated toward achieving them, as well as receiving help if needed.
What hopes and goals do you have for PlayerLeak?
The goal for our team is to bring the sports community together in one place to advance the athlete, encourage player development, and increase the chances of opportunity for everyone involved in sports.
- We also hope to use the platform we have to make a meaningful impact and be involved in giving back to our sports communities in need.
- We hope to build an environment of collaboration, encouragement, and progress, for players, teams, and coaches worldwide.
- We hope that someday PlayerLeak will have played a role in an athlete or a team reaching their desired level of success.
- We hope that our Sports Map feature becomes a helpful goal setting tool for players, teams, and coaches, and will help motivate those who are a part of the community to reach their goals in sports.
- We also hope that PlayerLeak will become a great outlet for those in sports who have become successful or professionals, to reach back to the community and help guide the next generation toward achieving their goals – by offering feedback to users who have Sports Maps in their area of expertise.
- We envision positively changing the standard of interaction and communication, and providing, for following generations, access to the world’s largest sports networking platform, to pursue their goals and experience greater enjoyment.
- We hope that one day, when others begin to think about what they want to achieve or experience in sports, that their next thought is to sign up for PlayerLeak, build their profile, add goals to their Sports Map, and start to build their network to help them on their way. That would be a dream come true for us.