The Miami Dolphins hosted a High School Player Development Leadership Program on Thursday March 18th at Sun Life Stadium. The event, presented by the National Guard, included 30 high school student athletes from Miami-Dade and Broward counties. The students were taught valuable lessons in leadership by members of the National Guard as well as Dolphins wide receiver
“The event as a whole was very successful,” Troy Drayton, Manager of Miami Dolphins Youth Programs, said. “The students who were selected for this event are already high character individuals. Hopefully the lessons they learned today will help them continue to grow not only as leaders in their respective sport but also in their community.”
The event started with a video presentation from the NFL and was followed by a visit from Hartline. The wide receiver spoke to the students about how he became a leader in high school by working hard and leading by example. He also answered questions about the difficulties of becoming a leader when you are one of the youngest players on your team as well as when it is the right time to speak up in a locker room.
“Having Brian Hartline speak to us was very impactful,” said Miramar High School junior point guard John Persaud. “He has been through the same things that we are going through now and he understands what it takes to be a leader going from high school to college and eventually to the NFL. I am excited about taking the things I learned today back to my team and sharing the information with them.”
The day concluded with a service project at the Ann Storck Center, where they helped fix the pavilion and garden areas at the Center. They were also able to go into one of the group homes and clean the inside. After leaving the Center, the students came back to the Stadium and took part in an exercise led by the National Guard.
“It is important for us to share our experiences as leaders and fostering it into the next generation,” Joe Lietz, the Regional Recruiting Commander of the Florida Army National Guard said. “The lessons they learn today will help them be successful not only in sports but in their business and families as well.”
The Miami Dolphins are one of eight NFL teams to host the Leadership Program in 2014. In its second year, the event will be hosted in 20 cities and will be presented by the National Guard.