Buckeyes Spend Two Days with The Program

Team learned mental and physical toughness and leadership through The Program
Team learned mental and physical toughness and leadership through The Program
July 27, 2015

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s soccer team recently spent two days working with The Program, an organization that helps athletic teams develop a championship culture, in preparation for the 2015 season. Sam Cila, a retired staff sergeant in the U.S. Army and Reid Eichelberger, a lieutenant, came to Columbus to teach the Buckeyes mental and physical toughness through team-building and leadership exercises.

The first day, known as Judgement Day, began with a classroom session on leadership and the organization’s three core principles of selflessness, toughness and discipline. The team learned leadership is influence and leaders are responsible to accomplishing the mission and taking care of their teammates.

“We learned that our teammates are in charge of holding ourselves to the highest standard, and we are to help and demand our teammates reach the same high standards,” redshirt junior goalkeeper Jillian McVicker said. “They asked us who our team was, and we initially had trouble answering. After these two days, we found our identity, and that was extremely satisfying.” 



From then on, the team went through a series of land challenges which included synchronization exercises to full-field sprints in life vests to inflating each group’s boats with a manual foot pump in a given amount of time. The Buckeyes succeeded in some challenges and were unable to complete some others but reported to Griggs Reservoir at 4:30 a.m. to attack Day 2.

A small boat challenge awaited the team with a chance at each group redeeming themselves by pumping up all four boats in under four minutes. It took a few tries to achieve their tasks but Cila and Eichelberger were able to teach the team a valuable lesson from the failures.

“Instead of the whole team paying for their failures like the day prior, only the leadership had to accept the consequences,” McVicker added. “This showed us that taking on the leadership role means you get more credit than you deserve, but you also have to accept more blame. Our goal is to complete the mission, and if we fail, that's on us.”

The team went through a series of land challenges while waiting for the sun to rise so they could hit the water. During the races, each group was faced with a series of challenges which included paddling to a buoy and jumping into and out of the boat and paddling back. The winners of each race were rewarded with more work, such as perfect jumping jacks of body builders, because the team learned that winners will keep getting better and raising their level even when reaching success.

Four hours later, the team completed The Program. After facing the adversity of the Day 1 where some vulnerabilities were exposed, the team came back on Day 2 and was able to execute the mission.

“We came out with a fire and desire to succeed,” McVicker said. “We saw the potential this team can have and that was exciting. We can't wait to implement the lessons we learned from these decorated heroes and make them proud of the Buckeyes this season.”