Center for Leadership Development & Career Preparation

Becoming the Leaders and Best takes hard work, commitment and plenty of self-discovery. The University and student-athletes team up when it comes to personal development, and like any good teammate, we’ve got their back. We’re here to address their unique needs and experiences as a student-athlete and provide the best possible resources to help them succeed wherever life takes them. That’s why we established the Center for Leadership Development and Career Preparation. Focusing on core values that support independence, excellence, family, perpetual growth, integrity and outreach, this program helps student-athletes graduate world-ready and prepares them to achieve and surpass their personal and professional goals.

Building Champions

Our coaches recruit and develop student-athletes into champions who carry on Michigan’s championship tradition with integrity. We believe that exceptional performance extends beyond athletic accomplishments, and it’s our responsibility to provide them with the skills they need to have a competitive advantage not only in the athletic arena, but also in life. Our approach to developing leaders involves programming centered on personal development, leadership, career preparation, and community engagement.

A group of U-M student-athletes hold hands.

Personal Development

We equip our student-athletes with the tools necessary to live a fulfilling and successful life, as a student-athlete and beyond the Michigan experience. In addition, our Athletic Counseling team, made up of psychologists and counselors are well-positioned to respond to the individual and group needs of our student-athletes. As a part of our personal development initiatives, we promote self-discovery, healthy relationships, self-reliance, cultural competency and confidence, while helping them manage stress, develop their personal brand, and augment their strengths.

A large group of U-M student-athletes complete a team-building activity.

Leadership Training

Leadership skills are essential no matter where life takes you. At Michigan, we focus on helping student-athletes develop these skills so that they can successfully lead organizations and communities. They identify and explore values, vision and leadership styles, learn what it means to be financially independent, and engage in community service and advocacy. Through leadership training, we help them communicate and collaborate effectively, develop campus and faculty relationships and foster community engagement opportunities, while honing their conflict resolution, critical thinking and time management skills.

U-M student-athletes interact with alumni at a networking event.

Career Preparation

Life after graduation can seem uncertain and the vast world of career opportunities can easily become overwhelming – so we’ve developed specially tailored resources to help make student-athletes transition as smooth as possible. As a member of the Michigan community, student-athletes have access to dynamic professional, educational and career programs and services that empower them to discover, prepare for and adapt to postgraduate life.

Community Engagement

The Michigan Athletics Let’s Go Do program connects student-athletes with local non-profit organizations to create mutually beneficial experiences. Let’s Go Do helps our student-athletes explore their interests through meaningful, educational experiences, while our local organizations benefit from their donated time, energy and passion. We focus on providing a diverse range of community service opportunities, so our student-athletes are able to select the ways they can give back. The Let’s Go Do program is just one more way we’re supporting our student-athletes’ complete experience. Let’s go help. Let’s go connect. Let’s Go Do.

We Are Michigan

More Stories
Show back of card. Adam Coon, wrestling, Class of 2017

Adam Coon

Wrestling

2017
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The University of Michigan has given me so many great opportunities. Academically, I'm studying to become an aerospace engineer, which has been a lifelong dream of mine. Athletically, I am working side-by-side with the best wrestlers and coaches in the nation as I strive to achieve my goal of winning a national championship. The University of Michigan is the reason that I can work toward my dreams and have the opportunity to achieve them, while building lifelong relationships along the way.
Show back of card. Geena (Gall) Lara, women’s track and field, class of 2009

Geena (Gall) Lara

Runs for Nike, American Olympian - Women's Track & Field

2009
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Attending the University of Michigan was the best decision I ever made. I never knew how big of an impact being a student-athlete at Michigan would have on my life. It helped me mature, be more efficient with my time, and be able to balance my life. A Michigan Wolverine prides itself on being the best academically and in our sport and that meant getting the job done in the classroom first and foremost, and then making it happen on the track.

My four years in Ann Arbor were the best four years of my life. I gained lifelong friends, memories, experiences and a degree from a prestigious university. And above all, I got to wear the Block M on my chest. I would not be where I am at now if I didn't attend U-M and compete for my coach, Mike McGuire. Even now, I continue to represent the tradition of excellence that Michigan prides itself in. I will always be a Michigan Wolverine.
Show back of card. Greg and Tim Thomas, men's track and field

Tim Thomas

DDS - Men's Track & Field

1980
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“Being a student-athlete at the University of Michigan teaches you to be a competitor. It motivates, organizes and prepares you to be successful, not only in sports, but in life as well. This privilege becomes very evident after graduation.

“If you can successfully compete with the best athletes and the best scholars in the country you have the foundation to be successful in your post-collegiate, professional life. Give to Michigan and it will give back to you. Take advantage of this amazing experience and cherish your success.”
Show back of card. Sachi Sugiyama

Sachi Sugiyama

Women's Gymnastics

2015
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Every day provides a different learning experience and these coaches are awesome in helping push us forward. In college, you're never at your peak of learning. For every day I go into the gym, I'm excited because there's always something new to learn. It never gets boring. Even during hard times, the coaches are always there for support no matter what's happening. They're always looking out for you. The team environment that they've created is so strong that it's impossible to be uncomfortable.