Browsing articles tagged with " Motivational speeches"
Jul 31, 2014
Ann Thompson

Waratahs moved by Adam Ashley-Cooper’s inspirational poetry

It was like a scene out of the movie Invictus. 

It was like a scene out of the movie Invictus.

After the Waratah’s final training session before Saturday’s Super 15 final, Adam Ashley-Cooper dropped to a knee with the entire squad huddled around him, arm in arm, and recited a poem he wrote himself.

The rhyming stanza lasted for 20 minutes and was met with rapturous applause at its conclusion.

Waratahs prop Sekope Kepu said it was the most motivating speech he has heard in his rugby career.

“It certainly sent shivers down my spine,” Kepu said. “It’s pretty emotional stuff, you can’t get any better than that.

“When someone goes to length and includes 30 odd blokes in a poem, touching on a little bit about his experience with them or where they’ve come from, it’s pretty special.”

For the past three weeks, senior Waratahs players have given motivational speeches to the group at the conclusion of each session. Kepu said Ashley-Cooper’s inspiring words shows just how close Michael Cheika’s men have gelled together towards the back end of the season.

“Whether I’m not meant to share it or not, it speaks a lot about what we’ve built as a team and the bonds and everything regardless of whether you’re in the 22 or not,” Kepu said. “Everyone’s really bought into the culture and everyone just loves being around each other.

“It’s the opposite to Cliffy (Palu) who said two or three words last week. Everybody’s got that respect for one another and everyone’s got time for one another. We just love being amongst a team and hopefully that goes a long way to what we’re facing on Saturday.”

With a crowd of over 50,000 expected to pack into ANZ Stadium, a venue described by the Crusaders as a “neutral”, Kepu said his team’s success at the ground and a vociferous crowd will be the perfect combination for an inaugural Super Rugby victory.

” ‘Cheiks’ mentioned it before, we’d play them on Anzac Parade if we had to,” Kepu said. “Regardless of what they say, it’s a chance to perform in front of our fans and that’s something we wanted to revolutionise this year and get our fans back and get rugby back alive in Australia and Sydney in particular.”

An 18-year old Rob Horne was one man who experienced the heartbreak of the Waratah’s grand final defeat in 2008 to the Crusaders. Horne said the occasion of a grand final was something he took for granted in his first season of Super Rugby.

“In your first year you make a grand final, you think that’s all right we’ll win it next year, but it doesn’t work like that,” Horne said. “They come few and far between and that’s what I picked up; when you’re there and you’re having a good year, you’ve got to make it the best year.

“We’ve got a lot of guys in the team who have never played a finals game let alone a grand final.”

In their two fixtures at ANZ Stadium this season, the Waratahs have won comfortably by 27 and 31 points. For this to be replicated, Horne said Tahs fans need to get behind their team like they did last week against the Brumbies.

“Our supporter base probably culminated last week with that full house and it was an incredible atmosphere and it was the most hostile Waratahs crowd I’ve ever experienced,” Horne said. “It certainly does help.”

The Waratahs will be looking to extract inside knowledge from Daryl Gibson, who played a key role in the five of the Crusaders’ record seven Super Rugby titles.

Waratahs halfback Nick Phipps said last week the former All-Blacks centre would be their “mole” in the lead-up, but Gibson reckons he doesn’t have the inside knowledge most people think he has.

“I had a little bit of a giggle at that, mainly apart from knowing what Toddy (Blackadder) has in his coffee, I know no more than what any other coach does who studies video tape,” Gibson said.

Jul 31, 2014
Jane Underwood

Derek Jeter’s Turn 2 Foundation brings The Three Doctors to Kalamazoo to …

KALAMAZOO, MI – Dr. Sampson Davis recalled the day he stood in front of a judge facing a potential sentence of up to 10 years in jail for theft.

“I prayed that if I was able to get out of this somehow, I would turn my life around,” recalled Davis, one in a group of motivational speakers and authors known as the Three Doctors who spoke before a packed house of 1,500 people Wednesday at Chenery Auditorium in Kalamazoo.

Thanks to a deal struck between prosecutors and Davis’ lawyer, the young teen was given the second chance he had prayed for with a reduced sentence of two years of supervised probation. Davis told the audience that he later did return to the court, but as an expert medical witness.

The Three Doctors were the keynote speakers for Re2pect Your Community, presented by PNC Bank and hosted by the Turn 2 Foundation, a charitable and youth outreach organization started by Derek Jeter, the New York Yankees star who grew up in Kalamazoo. They spoke to a mixed crowd of kids, teens and adults.

“What the Turn 2 Foundation is doing with communities across the country, especially in Kalamazoo and New York, it really resonates with what we’re about,” Davis said. “Education, leadership, responsibility and community service.”

Davis, along with Rameck Hunt and George Jenkins, make up the Three Doctors, a group of friends from poor single-parent homes in Newark, N.J., who made a pact to support and encourage each other through high school, college and medical school on the path to becoming doctors.

The Three Doctors were invited to speak in Kalamazoo at the request of Jeter’s Leaders, a youth leadership program for high school students in Kalamazoo and New York designed to promote healthy lifestyles, academic achievement and social change activism.

Every other year, Jeter’s Leaders promote the Social Change project, which focuses on making a positive impact in the community through social and service projects. One of this year’s goals was inviting the Three Doctors to speak for free to community at large.

Bradford Tabor, 18, of Portage, is celebrating his last summer with the Jeter’s Leaders program before beginning college at Saginaw Valley State University in the fall.

“We just really wanted to impact our community, and we know how impactful the doctors were for their community in Newark,” Tabor said. “So, we wanted to bring them here to inspire a community that is really in Derek’s backyard here in Kalamazoo.”

The roughly two-hour event started with a video presentation of Jeter’s rise as a baseball player with the Yankees and the start of the Turn 2 Foundation during his rookie season.

Sharlee Jeter, president of the Turn 2 Foundation and Derek’s sister, welcomed the crowd, and Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell spoke on the importance of the foundation for the Kalamazoo community.

Jeter’s Leaders then presented Kalamazoo Public Schools Superintendent Michael Rice with a donation of 2,300 books from Simon Schuster Children’s Publishing and its Jeter Publishing imprint.

The Three Doctors then took the stage to share their history, their struggles, their mistakes and their determination to succeed despite the odds. They also offered advice on becoming a better student and developing positive habits necessary for personal and professional success.

“I think our story is a story of overcoming,” Davis said. “It’s a rags-to-riches story of starting from the bottom and rising to the top. Along the way, it’s not a seamless process. There were hurdles, there were obstacles, and it mirrors the theme and mission of the Turn 2 Foundation.”

Following the speech, the Three Doctors participated in a question-and-answer session with the audience.

“I think there are a lot of similarities between Derek and the Three Doctors,” Sharlee Jeter said. “Very different backgrounds but the same mindset now, which is what is most important and that’s why they’re here.

“We’re celebrating tonight the positive things that our Jeter’s Leaders have done. They’ve done so much to maintain their academics, give back to the community, promote healthy lifestyles and mentor younger kids. Tonight is a way for them to be recognized as well as bring in amazing speakers to tell their story and add something that will benefit the community.”

About the Three Doctors:

Davis holds a medical degree from Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and completed his residency in emergency medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. He is a board certified emergency medicine physician for several hospitals in New Jersey.

Hunt also received his doctorate from Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and completed his residency in internal medicine at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He is a board certified internist at University Medical Center at Princeton and an assistant professor of medicine at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Jenkins received his Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He also is an assistant professor of clinical dentistry at Columbia University.

For more information about the Three Doctors, their New York Times bestselling books or the Three Doctors Foundation, visit

Jul 30, 2014
Ann Thompson

Karmic Angels To Tour Gambia with Ex-Premiership Football Stars & Artistes

Karmic Angels To Tour Gambia with Ex-Premiership Football Stars Artistes

(JollofNews) – Ex- Barclays Premiership and English national team footballers and celebrities will next February play an international art-football match with ex-footballers of the Gambian national team and artistes at the Independence Stadium in Bakau.

The football match which is jointly organised by Karmic Angels, a charity registered in the Gambia since 2008 and the UK 3 Lions, a UK based charitable organisation is part of events to mark the Gambia’s 50th Independence Anniversary from the UK.
It is aimed at building the UK and Gambian relations in sport, art, education, business and tourism and also to raise more awareness and funds for Karmic Angels International charitable projects. 
According to UK philanthropists, Stephanie and Alan Turner, who are also the founding director and chairman of Karmic Angels, the football match on Independence Day will attract thousands of Gambian and European football fans. This will be preceded on 17th February by an International music concert with UK, US and Gambian musicians and artistes (Hip Hop and Rap and more). Jaliba Kuyateh is performing alongside many other top Gambian artistes.
“This is going to be a great celebration and we want thousands of Gambians to participate. Obviously there are many things to collaborate, but with the help of the National Sports Council, the Gambia Football Association, the ministries of Tourism, Sports and Education and of course the President of the Gambia, we will make this an event never to be forgotten,” said Alan Turner.

“UK 3 Lions will be bringing celebrities, artistes and footballers who played for Barclays Premiership clubs like, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United who will as part of the tour visit  Gambian schools, colleges, training institutes and orphanages to give mini sports fitness sessions, motivational speeches, mini music taster sessions run by the artists.” 

“We have documentary crews from Satya Media Group from Miami, USA, together with our own UK media team. We also have the services of two Gambian video professionals and have also invited GRTS to be at all occasions together with the press. This will have the benefit of having a documentary across the US and UK as well as Gambia.” said Stephanie Turner.

Stephanie and Alan Turner expressed hopes to make the event an annual one to provide more support for the people of the Gambia and towards their projects for help in education, health, agriculture and sport.

Having gained the interest of a number of companies in the Gambia and UK, Stephanie and Alan Turner said they are still looking for more sponsors and Gambia organisations that would like to be part of the event can either log on to their website or contact their Gambian offices on 6310379/7926456, 7431185/3931185 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Since it started operations in the Gambia, Karmic Angels have built three nursery schools, renovated another three classroom block, donated educational and health materials worth millions of Dalasis to schools, hospitals and clinics. They have also donated agricultural items to help the women in the crop fields on the North Bank.




Written by JollofNews


Jul 30, 2014
Jane Underwood

Mick Durham among speakers as Coaches Clinic returns

The 47th annual Montana Coaches Association Multi-Sports Clinic kicks off today at Great Falls High, and once again the Treasure State’s top coaches and administrators are represented.

There are even a few blasts from the past.

Mick Durham, the former Montana State star basketball player and successful head coach who is now in charge of the men’s program at NCAA Division II Alaska-Fairbanks, is one of the clinicians.

The clinic, coordinated by MCA director Don Olsen, runs today through Friday at Great Falls High. Hundreds of prep and college coaches are expected to attend.

“We expect about 800 coaches in town,” said Olsen, a Simms High graduate who lives now in Fort Shaw. “We’re happy that Mick was able to make it and we’re excited to see him again. Certainly he was one of most popular coaches ever at Montana State.”

Coaches in various sports from throughout the Northwest are slated to attend, including Washington State volleyball coach Jen Greeny, Washington women’s basketball coach Mike Neighbors, Washington assistant football coach Jeff Choate and Stanford football director of player development Ron Lynn.

In addition, several motivational speakers will attend, among them Shanna Zolman, a former University of Tennessee basketball star. Her talk Thursday at 5 p.m. is open to the public.

John McCarthy, another highly regarded motivational speaker, will deliver his program, “Lessons of the Legends.”

“He’s great,” Olsen said. “John should be fun to listen to regardless of the sport one is coaching.”

The roster of Treasure State college coaches slated to speak include Montana football coach Mick Delaney, Montana State football coach Rob Ash, Montana State men’s basketball coach Brian Fish, Montana State-Northern wrestling coach Tyson Thivierge, University of Great Falls wrestling coach Caleb Schaeffer, Rocky Mountain men’s basketball coach Bill Dreikosen, Dickinson State football coach Pete Stanton, Montana State women’s golf coach Brittany Basye and University of Great Falls softball coach Joey Egan.

There are also several highly successful Montana high school coaches slated to give talks, including Fairfield girls’ basketball coach Dustin Gordon, Bozeman football coach Troy Purcell, Ennis football coach Jay Fredrickson, Dillon football coach Rick Nordahl, Belt girls’ basketball coach Jeff Graham, Kalispell Glacier volleyball coach Christy Harkins, Bigfork girls’ basketball coach Josh Downey, Frenchtown softball coach Eli Field and Bozeman cross country coach Clint May.

Mark Beckman, executive director of the Montana High School Association, and associate director Joanne Austin will also lecture at the clinic.

The clinic starts this morning at 8 and concludes Friday morning. Durham is scheduled to speak from 9-noon on Friday.

The clinic was started by legendary former Great Falls High track coach Ralph Halverson, who died at age 93 in May, 2013. He’d been MCA executive director and clinic director for more than 30 years.

Jul 29, 2014
Ann Thompson

Knee-jerk, rearguard measures won’t end school violence

The latest student brawl in Bangkok that killed one and injured another student has harshly reminded us an ugly truth in our society. In this case, like most others, death is “not” an unfortunate event. It is a result of bad traditions that have claimed so many lives and have caused so much pain to so many.

On their way home, two students were randomly targeted by a group from a rival vocational school. They tried to flee the scene but were unsuccessful. A group from another school attacked them brutally with swords. One died on the spot while his friend was wounded but managed to flee. The brutal fight happened in Soi Udomsuk, off Sukhumvit Road. Like many other incidents of student violence, it happened before the full glare of the public eye.

Every time it happens, it claims the lives of the innocent. Sometimes, the victim is just a bystander. Many times, including in the latest case in Udomsuk, the targets are randomly attacked and killed. The families of student brawl victims have for long sought tougher measure to tackle the problem but the violence is mounting rather than abating.

Governments and education ministers have stepped up measures to eradicate violence among the vocational school students. They have been told not to wear uniforms to avoid identification of the schools. Get-together events have been arranged for rival schools, which saw them shaking hands before the press. There were temporary shutdown of schools. Motivational speakers gave speeches at various schools. The latest move saw a military-style boot camp arranged to instil good behaviour in students. None of these measures have really borne fruit considering the number of incidents.

Some measures don’t really address the root cause. Not wearing a uniform is a short-term, back-against-the-wall measure while at the other end motivational speeches offer a long-term measure.

Any measure must not be a “flash in the pan” if they are aimed at an effective solution. Society reacts to school violence once or twice a year, whereas rival students plan to harm each other every day.

Student brawls are not unique to Thailand but what is worrying is that the scale of violence is escalating. The root causes involve bad tradition of bitter rivalry inherited through the years by the alumni. It is about mob behaviour, which is fuelled in students who are in a high-adrenaline, hormone-driven age. The long-term measures must address attitudes, psychology and badly misguided traditions. They have to be consistently implemented. Adults also have to play a part in setting an example. The violence between the different sides of the political divide has sadly demonstrated that even adults have failed to be good role models.

It will take years, several governments and many education ministries to cope with the school violence. Every section of society and every adult must be involved in the process. The measures must be all-encompassing and systematic, and not a rearguard battle. The values must be in the curriculum and they have to be instilled in the students’ psyche. It has to be repeatedly taught and guided, without any loss of focus. Only when the number of cases is drastically reduced can we claim a success. These avoidable tragedies will stop only when the grown-ups get it right, too.

Jul 29, 2014
Jane Underwood

FCCLA attend National Leadership Conference in San Antonio

On July 4, 2014, sixteen members of Macon County High School FCCLA boarded a charter bus and headed out to the FCCLA National Leadership Conference in San Antonio, Texas. They made several stops along the way visiting Graceland, the JFK Museum, and the Stockyards in Ft. Worth, Texas. During their week long stay in San Antonio, they were able to see many sights as well, which included: taking a boat tour, watching a show on the River Walk, visiting the Holocaust museum, the Alamo, Six Flags, the Hispanic Market, Tower of the America’s, and Sea World.

While they enjoyed these interesting and fun events, the main reason for their travels was to participate in the 2014 FCCLA National Leadership Conference along with 7500 members and advisers from across the country. They won this opportunity by receiving first place at the state competition in April. After competing in five different events at the national competition, MCHS FCCLA brought home one gold and four silver medals. The members also attended workshops with topics such as don’t text and drive and social media. They participated in general sessions where they were able to see the national officers in action and hear motivational speakers. They also met and networked with others from Tennessee and across the country while developing their leadership skills.

This once in a lifetime opportunity was enjoyed by all, some members are already planning and preparing to attend next years national conference. They would like to thank everyone who helped make this trip possible. A special thanks to Farm Bureau, Citizens Bank, Macon Bank and Trust, Tri-County, North Central Telephone, Lafayette City Council, and the Macon County Commissioners.


Jul 28, 2014
Ann Thompson

Local camp shapes Solana Beach youth into community leaders

Campers bond during a team building exercise.

By Kristina Houck

After attending the inaugural La Colonia de Eden Gardens Youth Leadership Camp last year, Edgar Vergara was inspired to make positive change in Solana Beach’s Eden Gardens community. Along with other local teens, the 15-year-old co-founded the youth group La Colonia Changers and recently hosted a town hall forum on underage drinking.

Passionate about making an impact on his hometown, Edgar jumped at the chance to return to the camp this year as a youth leader.

“I was very motivated after last year’s camp,” said Edgar, a junior at Torrey Pines High School. “I wanted to come back, help out other kids and give back.”

Edgar was one of 50 youth ages 12-17 who gathered July 14-17 at the Whispering Winds Catholic Conference Center in Julian for the second annual camp. Organized by La Colonia de Eden Gardens Foundation and funded by numerous local supporters, the camp offered attendees four days and three nights of fun and educational activities for only $30 per camper — with a fee waiver for those who opted for volunteer work.

“It’s important to have a camp like this for kids in the community so instead of going out and doing something bad, we can be at camp, having fun and meeting new people,” said 17-year-old Selenne Olivares, a junior at Torrey Pines High School. “It’s an experience like no other.”

Establishing a youth camp was one of the goals of La Colonia de Eden Gardens Foundation, an organization founded by community members nearly four years ago to suppress escalating drug and gang violence, as well as encourage local youth to make positive choices and improve resources for residents. Since then, the foundation has held community forums, created a community garden and launched the camp, among other accomplishments.

Campers take a break from their nature hike for a group photo. Courtesy photos

“A few years back, there weren’t many summer programs. There were kids falling through the cracks,” said Manny Aguilar, president and board chairman of the foundation. “The purpose of the camp is to help these kids grow outside of their comfort zone, try new things, make new friends, and be exposed to a combination of academic, motivational, recreational and family-oriented activities.”

A total of 35 local kids attended last year’s camp. This year’s camp attracted 50 campers, most from Eden Gardens and others from families who have since moved to Encinitas, Carlsbad, San Marcos, Oceanside and other neighboring communities.

Campers talked about their education and career goals, and listened to motivational speeches, including a presentation by “Rain of Gold” novelist Victor Villaseñor. They also worked on arts projects, played sports, rode zip lines and more.

“At some point, my goal is that they take over the organization and continue the efforts moving forward so the people running the board now can sit back and help support them,” Aguilar said. “I don’t want to be here in 20 years doing the same thing because I think that ultimately we have a lot of capable people. My goal is to create leaders.”

Just two years into the camp, Aguilar is well on his way of reaching his goal.

Re-energized, Edgar is looking forward to making even more positive change in the community.

“Camp was fun and very inspiring,” Edgar said. “We’re excited and want to improve our community. We have to give back and say ‘thank you’ to those who have helped us.”

To learn more about La Colonia de Eden Gardens Foundation, visit

Related posts:

  1. Youth to present photography project at Eden Gardens celebration in Solana Beach
  2. Community celebrates Eden Gardens improvements in Solana Beach
  3. Local boys create free camp for Solana Beach youth
  4. La Colonia de Eden Gardens Foundation and National Latino Research Center to conduct needs assessment on Solana Beach community
  5. Solana Beach youth hold town hall forum on underage drinking

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Jul 28, 2014
Jane Underwood

Local briefs: RisingStar Leadership Scholarship awarded

RisingStar Leadership Scholarship awarded to Dresden student

Elizabeth Francisco, a 2014 Dresden High School graduate, was awarded the 2014-15 RisingStar Leadership Scholarship by the University of Tennessee at Martin WestStar Leadership Program.

The RisingStar committee selects an annual scholarship recipient who receives $1,200 for the academic year, according to a news release from UT Martin. WestStar organizes and sponsors the annual RisingStar Leadership Summit.

The RisingStar Leadership Scholarship is for a student who participated in the RisingStar summit and will attend UT Martin as a freshman. Eligible students must have a 3.0 high school grade point average and a 21 or higher ACT score.

Francisco will major in biology with a concentration in cell and molecular biology, the release said. She plans to later attend pharmacy school.

“I got to meet a lot of new people,” Francisco said of her RisingStar experience. “I learned how to be a better leader, not only in school but in the community also.”

The next RisingStar Leadership Summit will be held Nov. 20-21 for West Tennessee high school juniors and seniors involved in leadership roles within their community or school. The daylong program includes leadership team building, motivational speakers and university tours designed for specific academic interests.

Students interested in participating in RisingStar can contact the WestStar Leadership Program at (731) 881-7298.

Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame president to visit Jackson

Gary Beaty, the newly elected president of the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame, will visit Jackson on Saturday for a meet and greet at Charlie Bulldogs, at 216 N. Shannon St. in downtown Jackson.

The meet and greet is scheduled for 11 a.m., with a “Dutch treat” lunch at noon.

The event gives the public the opportunity to converse with the new president and will introduce prospective West Tennessee members to the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame.

Beaty is open to initiating discussions on how to develop local or regional chapters of the Hall of Fame to bring additional recognition to radio personalities and history on a local and regional basis.

West Tennessee Writing Project to host conference

The West Tennessee Writing Project will offer a conference from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sept. 6 at Obion County Central High School in Troy.

“WTWP How To: A Conference on Writing, Teaching, and Publishing” will feature a plenary session with published authors Shannon Lyon, Julia Schuster and Jenna Wright, plus breakout sessions on writing, teaching, technology and the Common Core, according to a news release.

Lyon teaches at Obion County Central and is author of the novel “Cotton’s Daughter.” Schuster teaches at St. Agnes Academy-St. Dominic School in Memphis and is author of “Flowers for Elvis,” a novel, and “The Ingredients of Gumbo,” a collection of stories, poems, essays and sketches.

Wright is chairwoman of the UT Martin Department of English and Modern Foreign Languages and has published writings in several journals, including “Calliope,” and has received honors in both nonfiction and national poetry contests. She is currently working on a memoir.

The workshop is open to anyone over 18 who is interested in writing and publishing. Teachers will receive six hours of Continuing Education Credits after completing the conference, and all participants receive certificates of participation.

Early registration before Sept. 4 is $30, and late registration is $40, which includes lunch. West Tennessee Writing Project teacher consultants who have completed the Summer Institute at UT Martin will present all breakout sessions and plenary sessions.

Registration is available online through UT Martin’s office of Extended Campus and Online Studies at Anyone interested in attending also may call the UT Martin Office of Extended Campus and Online Studies at (731) 881-7080 for registration. For updates on the conference, visit

Jul 27, 2014
Ann Thompson

6th Annual Miracles Happen Festival

Fillmore County celebrated the last full day of the 2014 Fillmore County Fair with a rodeo on Friday. Hundreds attended the fast-paced, competitive sport on the eve before the final day of the fair.

Jul 27, 2014
Jane Underwood

Have Dolphins solved team’s leadership issues? – Sun

Leadership has little to do with seniority. It does not require a title or a position of authority.

Leadership isn’t how you manage people, or how many people follow you. It doesn’t necessarily require rousing speeches that inspire others.

Leadership is about influence. Leaders are individuals who inspire and empower others. They provide knowledge, a strategy and motivation to realize a vision.

The 2013 Miami Dolphins had plenty of people who thought they were leaders last season. Many of them were members of Joe Philbin’s leadership council, and very well might get elected to it again by their peers.

However, the influences they had weren’t always used properly (cough, Richie Incognito, cough). The examples they set weren’t always a positive one (cough, Mike Pouncey, cough).

And when it was time to inspire, or speak up on another’s behalf, or for the greater good, too many Dolphins players sat in silence last season.

“I felt like there was always a sense of leadership. Obviously, it’s unfortunate what happened,” defensive end Cameron Wake said, referring to the bullying scandal that put the Dolphins under national scrutiny, and side-swiped Miami’s 8-8 season.

“We’re not going to dive too deep into that, but, as a whole, you look around this team [and] there are guys that may be vocal or guys that maybe do it by example,” said Wake, a two time Pro Bowler. “We have leaders all over the place.”

And that’s part of the problem. If you talk to anyone inside the Dolphins’ organization they’ll likely tell you the Dolphins didn’t have a problem last year.

Never mind Incognito being a locker room Neanderthal.

Ignore Jonathan Martin quitting the team during the season, claiming he was being abused by teammates.

And overlook the team collapsing at the end of the season, scoring all of seven points in two critical division games when the playoffs were on the line.

According to the Dolphins those are isolated incidents of trouble, not a reflection on poor leadership.

According to the Dolphins, the 2013 season is in their past. But who on this 2014 team will keep this locker room on the straight and narrow, and who will ensure that the team doesn’t flat-line when the pressure builds?

Either returning players who are viewed as leaders — Wake, Pouncey, Brent Grimes, Ryan Tannehill — need to do a better job inspiring and empowering — or some of these newcomers need to step up quickly.

“No matter if you’re a new guy or an old guy, you were born to be a leader. It isn’t something you pick up along the way. That’s something that was engraved in you as a young’n,” said new starting free safety Louis Delmas, who was signed this offseason and immediately took on a leadership role in the secondary.

“It might have taken some time for you to realize you have the capability of being a leader, but once you realize that you know that each and every day you step on the field you have to be a leader, mentally and physically.”

But is it fair to overlook a leader just because he isn’t vocal?

According to former Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder, his fellow linebacker Zach Thomas was the lead by example type who only gave one speech to the team he can remember.

Jason Taylor was the vocal one giving team speeches, issue challenges, pulling players aside.

From Crowder’s perspective, neither Thomas nor Taylor had more clout than the other inside the locker room. Their styles were different, but none more effective than the other, and they are each viewed as not just great players in Dolphins history, but great leaders.

This summer the Dolphins have put a lot of effort, energy and attention into encouraging players to become better leaders. Miami brought in motivational speakers who have done presentations on developing leadership traits.

Philbin said the team even devoted some of the OTA instructional sessions to leadership training.

“It was an opportunity for better communication,” Philbin said. “Players to players, players to the coaches. Some guys got some things off their chest, coaches too.

“I think it has helped us move in a positive direction.”

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