Note: This story also appears in the April issue of the Sho'men Club Newsletter. To become a member of the Sho'men Club, click here.
Women's soccer player Gabby Antalffy and field hockey player Erin Lewns reprsented Washington College at the 14th Annual Snell-Shillingford Coaching Symposium held January 25-27 at Muhlenberg College. The event was sponsored by the Centennial Conference and the NCAA Committee for Women's Athletics. This symposium is a chance for female athletes to network and learn about opportunities in the coaching arena.
The symposium is named for Eleanor Frost Snell and Jen Shillingford. Snell, the legendary field hockey coach at Ursinus where she won 674 games, is in the Ursinus Athletics Hall of Fame.
Shillingford, who played and coached under Snell at Ursinus, went on to serve as a field hockey coach and athletic director at Bryn Mawr for over 20 years prior to her retirement in 1999. Antalffy and Lewns each had mentors at the symposium. Antalffy's mentors were Marisa Marcellino (Gettysburg) and Kelly Tyrrell (Dickinson), while Lewns' mentors were Nicole Kelly (Bryn Mawr) and Ashley Mowery
(Gettysburg). Antalffy was in a mentor group with a student-athlete each from Franklin & Marshall, Haverford, Muhlenberg and Swarthmore and Lewns' group consisted of one student-athlete each from Haverford, Johns Hopkins, McDaniel and Muhlenberg.
There were eight topics covered at the symposium. The eight topics were Leading With Personality, Many Hats of Coaching, Sportsmanship in Coaching, Developing Leaders, Ethics in Coaching, Planning with the End in Mind, Developing Your Coaching Philosophy and Winning The Interview. In addition to the
eight topics, there were other actions at the symposium and they were Networking with your Peers, Past As Prelude: Embracing Our Shared Women's Sports History, Understanding Title IX and Its History, a movie titled Dare To Compare and The Staus of Gender Equity in Intercollegiate Athletics as Title IX Turns 40.
Antalffy said she the symposium was such a valuable learning experience as she got to learn about all different responsibilities coaches have and the history of Title IX.
"Attending the Snell-Shillingford symposium opened my eyes to how much power women can have in the field of coaching. Women coaches shared stories about how they got to where they are today, how they feel about their jobs, and how much they love sharing their passion for their sport. Hearing their stories
was very uplifting and inspiring which helped me understand that I'd love to be in the coaching field one day and share my passion for soccer to other girls and women, just as they do.
"My favorite presentation of the weekend was 'Many Hats of Coaching' given by the volleyball coach from Muhlenberg College (Alexa Keckler). She shared the many jobs that a coach has from day to day, including the motivator, social director, the counselor, etc. This presentation showed how important coaches are in so many ways other than just coaching the team during practices and games and how they help their players in any and every way they can.
"We also learned about Title IX and how it has changed throughout the years and how it leads some of the rules and regulations of the NCAA today. We got to attend presentations that showed important aspects of Title IX, the myths that people believe (and how they aren't true), and how Title IX especially affects women in sports."
Lewns felt the whole experience is very valuable for anybody looking to go into coaching. She also integrated the symposium into her academic work.
"Overall I thought that the opportunity to attend the Snell-Symposium was awesome. At first I didn't know that it was just within our conference, but that made it even more special. I enjoyed interacting with the other athletes and coaches within our conference, even the athletes that I previously competed against. It was a very knowledgeable experience in that I learned a lot about the coaching career and about women in sports and administrative roles in general. There were some very insightful speakers on the topics of Title IX and coaching. My favorite topic was the 'Understanding Title IX and Its History'.
The presenter, (Amy Wilson), was very knowledgeable about the topic, and I found it even more interesting because I am actually incorporating it in my senior thesis. There were two presentations on
the topic, first on the basic history and the battle for equality and the second focused on gender in intercollegiate sports. It was a great experience because I am interested in coaching after graduation so it was very helpful in learning how to win the interview, create a coaching philosophy, and the different roles of a coach. I think it is a great experience for athletes who are interested in coaching themselves, and they should attend if they are."
Antalffy feels fortunate to have had the opportunity to attend this symposium.
"I was extremely lucky to be able to attend such a wonderful event where I met a variety of successful coaches who share a passion of teaching others and sharing their love of the game they coach," says the senior.
Attendees Since 2010...
Here is a list of the Washington attendees since 2010. Coaches in italics:
Elena Nicholoff (Field Hockey)
Lacey Lister (Softball)
Brittany Marshall (Women's Tennis)
Emily Trees (Field Hockey)
Abby Cerrone (Field Hockey)
Sabrina Larmer (Volleyball)
Ann Eickelberg (Women's Lacrosse)
Sally Snover (Softball)
Kaitlyn McEnroe (Field Hockey)
Gabrielle Antalffy (Women's Soccer)
Erin Lewns (Field Hockey)