Central to Mount de Sales Academy’s mission as a Mercy school is that we are a community of learners—students and teachers alike—who are motivated to serve. Even our athletic program is fully integrated with this mission.
Athletic Director Kenny Epps expects all coaches to model the principles of servant leadership with their athletes and encourage their teams to be actively involved in bettering the lives of others, as well as their communities. According to Jeffrey Hayzlett, who wrote The Hero Factor: How Great Leaders Transform Organizations and Create a Winning Culture, servant leadership is about “leading by example and paying it forward. Being a servant leader is not just about what you can do for others outside the organization. It is being a servant to your values, creating a culture that reflects those same values and embraces diversity, including diversity of thought, as well as a willingness to learn the courage of your convictions.” Servant leaders listen well, are empathetic, foster environments that support well-being and self-awareness, conceptualize solutions, promote the growth of others, and build a sense of community.
Athletics at Mount de Sales is about more than wins, losses, and beating opponents. It is about growing physically, emotionally, and spiritually as an individual and learning to interact with others on your team and in your community in a way that supports and promotes their growth. MDS coaches invest in their players, not for a season, but consistently throughout the year. New football head coach Gray Yates looks forward to developing his players as “men of faith” and is convinced that this will make them better football players.
The future is bright for our athletes as they grow as individuals and for the communities in which they will lead and serve.