Captains Academy


Mission of CSLi Leadership

This is not about sports. The mission of CSLi leadership is to change the conversation around what it means to be a leader on a sports team and in life. CSLi intends to impact as many athletes as possible with the message that true leadership is found through mindfulness, social-emotional development, and building connection though empathy and mutual vulnerability. 


CSLi Leadership Philosophy Build More Connected & Authentic Leaders

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The CSLi leadership philosophy stems from more than 30 years of leadership experience and development at all levels of sports, business and education. Although inspired by elements of Authentic, Transformational and Servant Leadership, CSLi leadership also introduces concepts from a variety of sources including, but not limited to, Dr. Brené Brown’s books Daring Greatly and Dare to Lead, Daniel Coyle’s national bestseller Culture Code, and George Mumford’s book, The Mindful Athlete. We have carefully crafted this unique understanding of leadership by combining the most impactful elements of different ideologies into one cohesive leadership philosophy.

Online Team Leadership Workshop Self-Guided Leadership Training for Teams

The Center for Sports Leadership & Innovation has created a nine session online team leadership workshop. We have taken concepts that Daron K. Roberts teaches UT student-athletes in Gameplan for Winning at Life, and breaks them down into highly engaging videos, activities and discussions. Each session contains a 5-15 minute introduction video, an athletes’ and coaches’ workbook, and bonus online materials. Coaches can purchase all nine sessions online here. If you have any questions please contact CSLi.

Entrepreneurial Leadership Experience A Partnership with the Kevin Durant Foundation

The Center for Sports Leadership & Innovation, The Kevin Durant Foundation, Thirty-Five Ventures and The Durant Center at College Track have partnered to create the Entrepreneurial Leadership Experience. This two-day intensive training in leadership and entrepreneurship training takes place in Kevin’s hometown of Suitland, Maryland. If you have any questions please contact CSLi.

Athlete Leadership Workshops Leadership Training at Your School

CSLi Athlete Leadership Workshops deploy advanced leadership trainings to student-athletes across Central Texas. The CSLi team comes to your school and works directly with your athletes and coaches. If you have any questions please contact CSLi.

Workshop Curriculum

1. Dealing with Failure & Receiving Feedback (Growth Mindset)

2. Mental Toughness (Grit & Resilience)

3. Mental Training (Mindfulness & Meditation)

4. The (Dis)comfort Zone (Vulnerability)

5. Leading by Example (Core Values & Integrity)

6. Leading with Humility (Self-awareness)

7. Guest Speaker 

8. Building a Championship Team

(Vulnerability-based Trust and Culture Development)

9. Treating People Right (Healthy Relationships)

10. Magical Feedback (Empathy & Self-compassion)

11. Guest Speaker

12. Digital Citizenship (Social Media etiquette)

13. How to Inspire & Motivate (Purpose Driven Goal-setting)

14. Guest Speaker

15. Dealing with Conflict (Communication & Decision-making)

Captains Academy Leadership Training at UT-Austin

To expand our reach and fulfill our mission beyond campus, we created the Captains Academy, originally a joint effort with the Austin Independent School District (AISD). Captains Academy is a leadership training program designed to equip the captains of boys and girls teams with unique leadership training in connection, goal-setting, mindset, and personal brand building. Captains Academy is available to any high-school student athlete leader in Texas. If you have any questions please contact CSLi.

Session One

During the first session, captains learn about the concepts of mindfulness, vulnerability-based trust and empathy as drivers of creating a high performance culture. 

Session Two

During the second session, captains explore the concepts of mindfulness, self-awareness and goal-setting as ways to excavate their purpose and find their “why”. 

Session Three

During the third session, captains deepen their understanding of mindfulness, and begin to define their personal core values. Lastly, captains are introduced to the concept of growth mindset. 

Session Four

During the forth and final session, captains conclude their training in mindfulness, reflect on their experience as leaders, and finish the training with a highly fun and engaging training around digital citizenship. 

The UT Leadership Experience A New Twist on the College Visit

Get more out of your students’ college visits to The University of Texas. The UT Leadership Experience is a customized leadership training and college visit all rolled into one. Bring your group of high school juniors or seniors to campus and let the CSLi team introduce them to concepts that will help them succeed as they take their next steps in life. If you have any questions please contact CSLi.

Two-Hour Leadership Workshop

Two-Hour Leadership Workshop

Attend a Class

Attend a Class

Campus Tour

Campus Tour

Stadium Tour

Stadium Tour

Catered Lunch

Catered Lunch

Guest Speaker

Guest Speaker

Coaches' Leadership Curriculum Development Customized Leadership Consulting

Every seasoned coach has a leadership and character development philosophy for their athletes. Not every coach has the time to create a personalized off-season plan for their teams. Let the experts as CSLi put your personal leadership philosophy into a curriculum for your team. If you have any questions please contact CSLi.

Powerpoint Presentations

Athlete Handbooks

Assistant Coach Handbooks



Captains Academy

Don’t just listen to us. Here are what people say about us.

  • I Look at Leadership Differently.

    I really appreciate UT inviting us to Captains Academy to be around all of these really talented athletes and learn how to not only look at sports, but life, differently. 

    I Look at Leadership Differently.
    McCallum High School
  • It Has Been Outstanding.

    Captains Academy through CSLi has been wonderful over the past three years. Our kids have loved it. They get to interact with their peers. The reason why they like it so much is that they come together with an athlete from another school, and they are not actually in competition for a change. They get a chance to connect on a different level. It's special to be able to form those relationships and bonds around sports and about life. 

    It Has Been Outstanding.
    Leal Anderson
    District Athletic Director
    Austin Independent School District
  • I Notice A Difference Immediately.

    “Our kids come back and I even notice a difference immediately. They just feel better, they kind of carry themselves with their head a little bit higher, their chest a little bit out, but just they almost feel empowered by what goes on in that room to bring that back on campus and help their teammates. So we see immediate returns on this.”

    I Notice A Difference Immediately.
    Michael Rosenthal
    Athletic Director, Former NFL Player
    Austin High School
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