Lead Sports Summit inspires the next generation

This past Labor Day weekend, I traveled to Atlanta, Georgia to attend the second annual Lead Sports Summit.

This event is a four-day swimming conference created by three-time Olympian Kara Lynn Joyce. During the summit, there are many keynote speakers and informational talks. Professionals in different subjects–such as leadership, sports psychology and nutrition–talked and educated 127 teenage female athletes on how to be the best leaders and athletes mentally and physically.

I was able to attend last year as well, and the event’s growth in one year was amazing. Last year, the conference room was about the size of one large classroom. This year, the conference room was the size of the cafeteria, and there were many more speakers.

This conference focused on empowering female leaders, and all of the speakers, including six Olympians, were strong female leaders. My personal favorite, Elizabeth Beisel, was there this year and last year. As soon as I saw her again, she ran to me and gave me such a big hug. We were able to talk and catch up for 30 minutes which is why this event is so amazing. Normal swim clinics with Olympians are short and participants hardly get to talk to them. At this four-day event, the Olympic athletes were humanized and became friends with everyone. Not only that, but they are able actually to help us with our specific questions and tell about their experiences.

There were also many college athletes in attendance as group leaders, and they were able to give insight on what it is like to swim in D1, D2, and D3 colleges. I had two friends and teammates come with me this year, and the older athletes’ new insight helped her decide if she wanted to swim in college or not.

Overall, the whole weekend was definitely inspiring. I was able to meet so many new people and learn so many new things. One of my favorite speakers was Coach Christen, who is a confidence coach who has worked with many female athletes throughout her career. One of my friends cried during her breakout group which just proves how impactful an experience like this can be to anyone. I am definitely hoping to go again next year. I had so much fun, and one day I hope to be a leader at the summit and able to help other girls.


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