"A good leader inspires people to have confidence in the leader, a great leader inspires people to have confidence in themselves." ~Eleanor Roosevelt
Confidence is Key
Confidence is key when seeking out or becoming a student section leader. Thick skin and a resilient personality are key to leading 1000s of college/high school students into getting on their feet, being silly, and cheering for their team.
Every student has the desire to get hype, to let loose, to feel a sense of community on their campus. This desire is often suffocated by the shame that comes from feeling judged for going against the status quo.
A student section leader has many responsibilities. However, the main job of a student section leader is to empower students to participate in the game day experience. Leading by example– dressing up, being weird, cheering loud– shows other students that they can do the same.
The Lone Nut
Years ago, a video went viral titled, “The Lone Nut + The First Follower = A Movement!” The video shows a man dancing by himself at an outdoor concert. At first he’s alone, but then one brave person joins and dances beside him. Slowly, more and more people join, until it’s a full blown dance party.
Our student section leaders are meant to embody the lone nut, and it’s their job to empower those first followers. They are trained to cheer loudly and in all directions, using easy-to-follow chants, so that everyone can hear and join in. Our team at Biggest Fan encourages our student leaders to dress wacky to games, even going so far as to take on an in-game alter ego.
In the past we’ve had student leaders dress up as Teletubbies, cowboys, inflatable sumo wrestlers, bananas, pickles, and even the Pope. The weirder the better. Leaders are taught to go out of their way to meet new students every game, make an effort to remember names, and make newcomers feel appreciated and welcomed.
Starting a Movement
Students will see how much fun the leaders are having and will want to be part of the fun– maybe showing up earlier to the next game, maybe even rocking a game day outfit. When the student body begins to notice that campus culture is shifting, they will be eager to join in on the fun. Pretty soon, you have a movement, and that all started with just a handful of rowdy students who were willing to be different.
So, to all the aspiring student section leaders out there, remember that it is not just about leading others; it is about empowering them to discover their own strengths, to embrace their uniqueness, and to find the confidence within themselves. By being that great leader who instills confidence in others, you have the power to ignite a movement that will leave a lasting impact on your campus and the lives of countless students.