By Aubrey Hastings
Student Life Editor
The summer of 2011 has proved memorable not only for junior Erin Lewns, but for Washington College as well. Nominated by WC Field Hockey Coach Rachel Boyle, Lewns was the first student athlete to represent WC in the NCAA National Career in Sports Forum in Indianapolis.
Chosen from a highly competitive pool of 1,100 nominations and 850 completed applications, Lewns was chosen to attend as one of 303 student-athletes to participate in 10 sport-specific coaching tracks or one administration track. Furthermore, she was the only student athlete to be selected from the entire Centennial Conference. “This was such an incredible honor for me,” said Lewns.
Over the span of four days there was an intense schedule filled with a variety of professional workshops. Learning to analyze personality types, discover one’s personal branding statement, how to properly introduce yourself in just seconds and how to set up a proper resume for interviews was among the many skills learned at the forum. This was all done under a professional profile requiring students to wear business attire every day and carry an official NCAA briefcase to session throughout the conference.
“What opened my eyes the most was learning about the behind the scenes of coaching. Not just the job on the field, but what else the job title includes. This being long office hours, recruiting high school students, talking with them and their parents, dealing with the struggles of getting enough incoming freshman to sustain your roster, traveling, and responsibility for your players. The director described coaching as a lifestyle and a culture. But at the same time it’s a lifestyle that you chose, you have the opportunity to impact player’s lives,” said Lewns.
Returning from the forum, Lewns took on the role for the second summer in a row as coach at her high school alma mater. Teaching students swimming and field hockey at such a young age, Lewns has had to make the huge personal adjustment from player to coach stance.
“I’ve already implemented some of the skills I learned during the NCAA forum in my two coaching positions over the summer. I’m grateful for this unique opportunity which one day may lead to a successful and rewarding coaching career.”