According to the NCAA, the forum is a way for student athletes to ‘engage in a diverse and dynamic representation of student-athletes, coaches, faculty and administrators. Student-athletes selected to attend Leadership Forum return to campus with invaluable leadership skills, the experience of exploring the relationship between personal values, core beliefs and behavioral styles, and a thorough understanding of the NCAA as a whole, the different divisional perspectives and the valuable role of Student-Athlete Advisory Committees (SAAC).’
Wright earned a rare leadership experience as each Division I conference is allowed to nominate just two student-athletes from among their member schools to participate in the forum. Nominated individuals must be in good academic standing, while demonstrating the ability to positively influence their campus and community.
Wright is no stranger to academic achievements and leadership opportunities. The senior has collected numerous academic accolades, which include academic all-Mountain West, MW scholar athlete, CoSIDA Academic All-District VIII and third-team CoSIDA Academic All-America honors. Wright also received the A-Pin award for the college of science, where recipients are required to maintain a 4.0 GPA for two consecutive semesters, while taking at least 15 graded credit hours.
Wright also mentioned that his involvement in the NCAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) helped him gain the opportunity to attend the national forum. Wright serves as Utah State’s SAAC president, as well as the SAAC Mountain West representative.
The Native of Monticello, Utah, was very grateful for the privilege of attending the forum. Wright reflected on the lessons learned while at the conference.
“One thing we talked about is having a growth mindset,” Wright said. “It’s important to not look at things as success or failure, but as progress towards a goal. As a leader it’s important to have that mindset.
“Later on we talked about emotional intelligence, which I thought was pretty good because it’s about physically understanding the emotions of yourself and those you’re leading. Lastly, we talked about the inside-out approach that focuses on finding the ‘why,’ rather than focusing on the ‘how’ or ‘what’ of a goal.”
Wright is eager and excited to apply the lessons he learned from the leadership forum to the upcoming track & field season.
“The nice thing about track is that it’s both individual and team based, so applying the growth mindset to myself is definitely going to help, but it will also help in the team concept at practice. I’m not necessarily the most vocal leader, but I do like to lead by example, while maintaining that positive attitude and hard work towards a goal. Also, I want to help my teammates understand the ‘why’ of everything. The ‘why’ behind the training, the extra reps, or extra drills that coach has us do,” Wright said.
“Devin is one of those quiet leaders,” said Utah State veteran track & field head coach Gregg Gensel. “He’s led by example the whole time he’s been here and he works really hard. Last year, of course, he won the individual championship in the javelin at the conference meet, but also he is highly acclaimed in the classroom. He’s exactly what you want in a student-athlete. For him to be able to go to this leadership conference and expand his skills is a credit to him and all of the hard work he has done in the classroom and on the track.”
As the defending Mountain West javelin champion enters his final year at Utah State, Wright is beyond excited about his training results.
“Training is going really well,” Wright said. It’s been really exciting to have Sindri Gudmundsson and Chase Thurgood to train with. Up to this point in my career, I have been the only male javelin thrower. Having teammates to train with has been very helpful to push me day after day to get better. So far, I’m healthy and I feel stronger than ever before, so I’m really excited for the season.”
Wright, who currently ranks eighth all-time in the javelin in school history, sets his sights on the 70-meter mark, which has eluded him so far in his career.
“Last season I had a throw that was about 70 meters and by far my farthest throw ever, but it was outside of the sector, so my goal this year is to mark that throw inbounds and potentially move onto the finals.”
Wright has set a great example for both his teammates and classmates as he strives to continue that positive influence for many years to come. Wright will no doubt strengthen and lead a very talented throwers corps at Utah State in 2017.
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This article originally ran here.