The Western New England Way

The thoughts and ideas expressed by our team captains regarding the identity of the Western New England family are represented here. This information was gathered in Captains’ Council meetings over many years. It was, and still is, their belief that our family should represent the ideal in all three areas of our comprehensive excellence commitment: Academics, Athletics, and Leadership. This commonly held belief in representing the ideal is referred to as “The Western New England Way.”

First and foremost, student-athletes are here for their education. Academic achievement and being a positive, contributing member of the student population is a must. Achievement in the classroom is no different than achievement in athletics. The ability to excel in athletics at this level takes advanced intelligence. It is up to the student-athlete to apply the same effort, passion, and attention to their studies as they do to their sport. In addition, student-athletes are expected to model appropriate behavior at all times and in all situations. Because of their commitment to the ideals of the athletic family, student-athletes are expected to be campus leaders in addition to their sport commitment. Student-athletes must be aware of and adhere to the Student Code of Conduct and other standards as outlined in the Western New England Student Handbook.

The athletic commitment expected of Western New England student-athletes extends beyond playing time and individual role. Our teams represent our University and its ideals. Therefore, our student-athletes are expected to have an outstanding work ethic, be mentally tough, be emotionally stable, be great teammates, be very coachable, play fair, and to represent class in all instances and situations that they may encounter.In the competitive situation, our expectation is that we play to our potential and set the highest standard possible. We want to be the measuring stick for other programs to aspire to be like.

The expectation that all of our student-athletes be leaders is not up for debate. To be members of the athletic family, student-athletes must understand that they represent the very best of Western New England. We do not take that charge lightly. All student-athletes are expected to give back to the community and be positive role models for children in our community. It is expected that all of our student-athletes understand that they are in the spotlight and anything that they do, positively or negatively, will reflect not only on them but also on the athletic family and Western New England. We challenge all of our student-athletes to be leaders and exercise great judgment in any situation that they may find themselves in. The captains have also compiled a list of desirable leadership attributes that are important for all of our Western New England captains to have and that serve to set them apart from other captains at other colleges.

These attributes include:

• Be yourself
• Be a positive role model
• Be a mentor
• Exhibit fair play and class—sportsmanship
• Possess a strong work ethic and commitment
• Demonstrate self-confidence
• Have a positive attitude
• Lead by example—in all situations
• Show respect for others—teammates, coaches, officials, and opponents
• Be approachable for all teammates, not just friends
• Express pride
• Exhibit mental toughness
• Show concern for others
• Develop good communication skills—teammates and coaches
• Be humble and level-headed
• Be selfless not selfish
• Demonstrate composure under pressure
• Be motivated and be a motivator
• Admit mistakes
• Set team and individual goals
• Be the “tone setter”
• Have fun!

The following is a list of desirable characteristics for the typical Western New England student-athlete which our captains feel are important and sets us apart from other colleges’ student-athletes.

These characteristics represent their views on the “ideal” student-athlete:

• Show dedication to classes, team, and yourself
• Demonstrate respect for authority: faculty/staff, coaches,
captains, and officials
• Show pride for our University, the team, and yourself
• Work hard at everything that you do
• Exhibit fair play and class—sportsmanship
• Take care of yourself
• Be organized
• Be unselfish—the team comes first
• Be a great teammate—reach out to others
• Know your role
• Be coachable
• Show responsibility—be on time, behave, and be invested
• Show commitment and determination
• Never give up
• Have a positive attitude
• Be mentally tough
• Remain level-headed, be humble
• Be friendly
• Play to win, but have fun!