2019 BreakThrough Summit Recap

At the BreakThrough Summit, host­ed by Hudl and WeCOACH in December 2019, we heard from game-chang­ing women in sports. From pro ath­letes and head coach­es, to direc­tors and com­mu­ni­ca­tion spe­cial­ists, they all had impor­tant mes­sages to convey. 

There were pre­sen­ta­tions on the pow­er of com­mu­ni­ca­tion (which lead to Betsy Butterick being cov­ered in PB&J), and pan­els around lead­ing great­ness. And it was next to impos­si­ble to leave the one-on-ones with Jill Ellis and Holly Warlick with­out feel­ing inspired and empowered.

These remark­able lead­ers expressed what it means to show up as a woman in a male-dom­i­nat­ed indus­try. And they gave us the run­down on how to fos­ter a cul­ture that paves the way for younger women to build on.

You don’t want to miss it. Registration is now open for the free dig­i­tal BreakThrough Summit 2020 December 14 – 15. (Did we men­tion it’s free?) 

If I can see her, I can be her.

Young girls and boys need to see women being suc­cess­ful coach­es and lead­ers. Only 41% of women’s col­le­giate teams are coached by women, and only 28% of youth sports coach­es are women.

So, what does it take to sup­port, devel­op and empow­er women in sports? We have to ensure we’re keep­ing women in the game. As for­mer Tennessee bas­ket­ball coach Holly Warlick explained, we have to trust women, take care of each oth­er and con­tin­ue to give young women the oppor­tu­ni­ty that some­one once gave to us. 

Pave the way.

Not only is mind­set impor­tant for a leader, but so is the envi­ron­ment that a leader cre­ates. As we con­tin­ue to see a rise in women’s lead­er­ship, we must fos­ter envi­ron­ments that they can evolve and devel­op in.

Take it from one of the great­est lead­ers in sports: Jill Ellis refined her mind­set around lead­er­ship into three pil­lars that ulti­mate­ly put her on a path to success:

  • The pow­er of con­nec­tion. Understand they’re not just ath­letes, but they are real peo­ple who also expe­ri­ence the ups and downs of life.
  • The inten­tion of direc­tion. You have to know where you’re going, and have courage to make deci­sions to help get you to that point. 
  • The abil­i­ty to reflect. It takes learn­ing from every expe­ri­ence — the good and bad — to evolve as a leader. If I’m the same leader today as I was two years ago, I’m fail­ing.” (Jill Ellis)

Persist for something bigger.

There’s no hid­ing the unique pres­sures women in sports face, espe­cial­ly when you’re one of the trail­blaz­ers. We heard from Charmelle Green, Penn State Sr. Associate AD and WeCOACH Board President, on what it’s like to be the first. Being the first is exhaust­ing. When I made the deci­sion to go to the University of Utah I didn’t real­ize I was going to be the only Black woman who was a stu­dent-ath­lete on that cam­pus. […] That’s exhaust­ing because you bear the bur­den of being the suc­cess sto­ry.” But with more and more women advo­cat­ing for each oth­er, it doesn’t have to be a bur­den car­ried alone. 

The oppor­tu­ni­ty and the respon­si­bil­i­ty with being first is to ensure you’re not the last, and so you have to make deci­sions to be a vocal advo­cate” said Dr. Jen Welter. This resilien­cy and per­sis­tence is key to the suc­cess of women in sports.

The oppor­tu­ni­ty and the respon­si­bil­i­ty with being first is to ensure you’re not the last, and so you have to make deci­sions to be a vocal advocate.”

Join the conversation.

We’re com­mit­ted to chang­ing the land­scape for women in sports, from pay inequal­i­ty and gen­der stereo­typ­ing, to objec­ti­fi­ca­tion and lack of rep­re­sen­ta­tion. Register now for BreakThrough Summit 2020 to learn how every coach, admin­is­tra­tor, leader and deci­sion-mak­er can be a change mak­er for cur­rent and future women in sport. Let’s set the pace together. 

Didn’t have a chance to join us last year? You can still watch the full 2019 BreakThrough Summit record­ing.