Football Player Malik Cin Returns From NCAA Leadership Conference
June 24, 2005
LOGAN, Utah - Earlier this summer Utah State football player Malik Cin had the opportunity to participate in the annual NCAA Leadership Conference in Orlando, Fla. and the junior brought back a number of ideas to share with other Aggie student-athletes.
This year's conference went from May 29 through June 2 with one student-athlete representing every school. Cin was selected to be Utah State's representative after four Aggies entered essays to an NCAA committee.
The conference featured a number of interactive activities that promoted leadership. There were a number of successful speakers, including former NFL football player Calvin Hill, NCAA president Dr. Myles Brand, the winner of TV's Survivor, and others.
The annual NCAA Leadership Conference provides NCAA student-athletes with a forum to openly discuss issues that may affect them on their campuses and in their communities, while also providing them with the opportunity to enhance their leadership, communication, decision-making and problem-solving skills. The NCAA Leadership Conference also promotes better communication among student-athletes, coaches, administrators, faculty and communities. The five-day leadership conference consists of daily exercises and activities to help the student-athletes develop as individuals and as contributing members to a group. This conference is provided at no cost to institutions participating in the NCAA CHAMPS/Life Skills Program.
"You learn about your strengths and weaknesses of being a leader and what you can improve on," Cin said. "You learn how to work better with teammates and administrators as well. You get a better understanding of how the department works and things you can do as a student-athlete to help improve it."
Cin, who has been active with all of USU's extra curricular programs, including SAMs (Student-Athletes as Mentors) and SAAC (Student-Athlete Advisory Committee), feels he can use the information he gained at the conference.
"I have a better understanding of what kind of role to take in different situations," he said. "Sometimes you have to follow. There you had more than 300 leaders so any activity you did, you had to realize that your idea might not always be the best one."
Cin liked a couple of quotes that Hill, whose son Grant played at Duke and in the NBA, used during his speech. One that stood out to Cin was from Duke basketball coach Mike Kryzewski saying that 'great leaders are always learning from their students."
Another quote he liked was Hill quoting Aristotle who said, 'he who has never learned to obey, cannot be a great leader."
However, he also drew inspiration from Loretta Claiborne, who was born partially blind and mildly retarded. Claiborne was unable to walk or talk until age four, but has now finished at least 25 marathons and holds the world record in the 5,000 meters for the International Special Olympics.
According to Cin, Claiborne told the group that "there are always doubters, but when I see believers, then I don't worry about the doubters."
Cin enjoyed the conference, especially meeting so may different people with the same type of goals.
"Everyone was there for the same cause - they want to be better leaders on their campus," Cin said. "It is easy to accomplish things if everyone has a common goal.
Cin said he stays in contact via e-mail with the 30 to 40 student-athletes that were in his group, including a quarterback from Louisiana Tech.
Now Cin will help try to keep the USU student-athletes involved in community projects and strive to improve the system.