SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ – The Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School has partnered with Victory Road, which is bringing its High Performance Leadership Development Program OAR 360 to student-athletes at the school. (OAR stands for “Optimize Athlete Readiness.”)

The seminar, is being offered to two freshman or sophomore leaders nominated by the coaches of each of SPF’s sports teams. The two-day training course focuses on three areas: Leadership Development, Overcoming Adversity and Performance Optimization. Victory Road will also be working with SPFHS  athletes throughout the year.

“Leaders do everything they can to make everyone else better,” Chris Firriolo of Victory Road told students and their parents at an introductory meeting last week. “Leaders aren’t always the most skilled athletes on the team.”

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“We can’t control the size and skill level of our opponents, but we can control our effort, energy and our willingness to compete,” added Firriolo, who counts Goldman Sachs, Google, the University of Alabama, Notre Dame, and the UCONN Women’s Basketball team among his clients. “You will learn how to be extraordinary and do extraordinary things. When life says, ‘No,” how do you respond? To be successful, you must bring 100% effort 100% of the time.”

Part I of the course will be The Playbook for an Extraordinary Mindset, which will help student-athletes develop “the passion to lead.”

Instructors during the two-day seminar include:

  • Eric Hoffberg, a culture-building expert, who will present Winning The Inside Game First. Hoffberg was a consultant for the 2018 Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals, and has trained executives from corporations such as Bank of America, Experian, Merck and Wells Fargo;
  • Travis Thomas, a leadership specialist at IMG Academy in Florida, who will present Improvising and the Elite Mindset. Thomas has worked with Pepsi, Under Armor, Gatorade, the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs.
  • Lee Rubin, a Penn State football captain, who will discuss the Five Components of an Extraordinary Team;
  • U.S. Navy SEALS Chris Howe and Matt Myers, who will teach the Victory Road Leadership Reaction Course Decision-Making Under Fire – From the Battlefield to the Athletic Field. Howe served combat deployments in Fallujah and Baghdad, Iraq, and took part in 66 combat missions and received multiple awards for bravery. He is one of the most sought after leadership specialists in the country.  Myers, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, was a member of SEAL TEAM 6 and served as an advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from January 2014 to May 2018.

“I believe in the tremendous impact our students will experience taking part in Victory Road’s leadership development training. I am contacted by dozens of vendors offering programs to our student athletes and found this one to be beyond anything else I’ve seen,” said SPFHS Athletic Director Ryan Miller.

“Over 200 of the top collegiate programs across the nation have made this experience part of their culture,” Miller added. “I am excited about the impact it will have on our teams, in our school community and, most importantly, on our student-athletes as they prepare to do great things in this world.”

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