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2016-17 Snyder Fellows Mentor Manhattan Youth

The 2016-2017 class of Snyder Leadership Legacy Fellows was inducted into the program in May 2016 and has worked hard over the summer months and the fall semester to continue their growth and learning.

The Snyder Fellows were recognized during a timeout at the K-State Football game versus Florida Atlantic last fall.

Fellows Coach Manhattan Area Youth Sports

In keeping with Coach Snyder’s mission and passion for youth mentorship and development, the Snyder Fellows are spent the fall semester coaching Manhattan Parks and Recreation Youth Sports teams. Our students worked with upwards of 200 third and fourth-grade student-athletes, for a total of 13 teams in soccer, flag football, cheerleading, or volleyball.

“It has been a really rewarding experience. My favorite part of coaching is watching the kids improve every practice and every game,” said Regan May, senior in Family Studies and Human Services/Pre-Optometry. “They get so excited when they do something well, and for me, that is probably the best part.”

In coaching teams of three to four Fellows, students planned and executed one practice per week and one game per week for a total of eight weeks.

“I have always loved coaching and have had the opportunity to do so in other situations, but being a head coach and having so much responsibility has really challenged me as a leader,” said Katie Gehrt, senior in Secondary Education, English.

Through this work, Fellows shared Coach Snyder’s 16 Goals for Success in ways for their student-athletes to practice not just in their sports performances, but also in their school work and family lives.

“My coaching experience has been an amazing one,” said Dominique Hoover, senior in Mechanical Engineering. “I honestly haven’t had a more fun and meaningful leadership opportunity thus far at Kansas State.”

In addition to our Fellows coaching 13 youth teams, the Snyder Fellows Program sponsored EVERY third and fourth-grade soccer, football, cheerleading, and volleyball team city-wide, providing resources to coaches centered on Coach Snyder’s 16 Goals for Success! And every team’s shirt displayed the 16 Goals on the back.

“It’s been a great experience and bottom line I feel like I’m making a positive impact on the kids and to me that’s what matters most,” said Conner Seitz, senior in Milling Science.

Andy Haar, Recreational Activity Leader for Youth Sports at the Manhattan Parks and Recreation Department, says of the partnership, “By teaching Coach Snyder’s 16 Goals for Success, the Fellows made a positive impact on youth development both on and off the field. Additionally, the Fellows helped fill a growing need for coaches and mentors within our community.”

As an end-of-season celebration, Coach Snyder invited all third and fourth-grade student-athletes to visit the Vanier Family Football Complex with their coaches and parents during K-State Football’s November bye week. Along with their Snyder Fellows coaches, K-State Cheerleaders, and Willie the Wildcat, student-athletes were given tours of the Vanier Complex. During their time at the complex, Coach Snyder addressed the group, discussing the 16 Goals for Success. The day ended with teams playing on the football field with their families.

Additional quotes on the Snyder Fellows’ Youth Coaching Engagement:

“I have loved getting to know the girls on my team. They each have their own strengths and weaknesses, so it’s been really cool seeing them help each other out as well as each of them individual improving.” -Katie Baker

“Being in charge of 19 young girls takes a lot of leadership skills. After the first practice I learned it was going to be harder than I thought to keep them engaged and having fun. I have learned to be very patient and understanding. I have also learned how to structure practices in a way that makes it fun for everyone. I have also learned a lot about myself. I am great at the organization and communication part of this leadership role, but learned right away that I needed to work on being patient and understanding. Improvements can be made every day. I remember what it was like to be a young cheerleader and how I looked up to my coaches as role models. This helps me remember to always put forth by best self and effort!” –Katlyn Smith

“I’ve learned a lot about working with kids and how their attention span and maturity is very different. It has taught me about adjusting my leadership to the person I’m working with (assistant coach) to meet the desired goals, aka being stern when the other is very playful or vice versa.” –Rose Dollarhide

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