21st WISL Conference Set for Feb. 2-3

January 7, 2014

The first, largest and longest-running program of its type in the country, the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s Women In Sports Leadership Conference will take place Feb. 2-3 at the Crowne Plaza Lansing West, formerly the Lexington Lansing Hotel.

The 21st edition of the conference will feature three keynote speakers and a variety of workshops. The program annually attracts upwards of 500 participants, most of them high school female student-athletes. High school students, coaches and administrators are invited to register on the MHSAA Website.

Cost is $50 for students and $60 for adults, not including lodging for those intending to stay overnight in Lansing. A registration form for lodging also is available on the MHSAA Website. Registration closes Jan. 17.

The theme for this WISL Conference is #JustLead, and Dr. René Revis Shingles will focus on leadership in her opening address. Revis Shingles is a certified athletic trainer and sport sociologist and currently serves as a professor and the director of athletic training at Central Michigan University. Revis Shingles has earned degrees from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Illinois State University and Michigan State University, and CMU annually presents a leadership award in her name to a student in its athletic training education program.

University of Michigan softball coach Carol Hutchins will speak on “The Importance of Leadership” at the WISL Banquet during the evening of Feb. 2. Hutchins, a member of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Hall of Fame, has led the Wolverines to more than 1,300 wins and the 2005 NCAA championship during her 29 seasons as coach. She holds a master’s degree in physical education from the University of Indiana and a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State.

MSU women’s basketball coach Suzy Merchant will speak on “Leading Through Vision, Values, Voice” during the morning of Feb. 3. Merchant is in her seventh season at MSU after previously coaching at Eastern Michigan University and Saginaw Valley State University and serving as a captain while a player at Central Michigan. Merchant led the Spartans to the Big Ten Conference title in 2010-11 and finishes of third place or higher in each of the last five seasons. She earned a bachelor’ degree at CMU and a master’s at SVSU.

Workshops offered during the conference include topics on coaching, teaching leadership, officiating, sports nutrition, college preparation, multi-sport participation, cultural awareness and the roles and responsibilities of captains. A complete itinerary is available on the MHSAA Website.

The WISL Banquet will include the presentation of this year’s Women In Sports Leadership Award. The winner will be announced later this month.

Follow the #JustLead hashtag on Twitter to learn more about the conference’s activities.