BRISTOL – The first of three Bristol Sports Hall of Fame Leadership Councils to be held this school year took place Tuesday morning at Nuchie’s Restaurant.
There, community and school leaders, Bristol Sports Hall of Fame directors and captains of sports teams from Bristol’s three high schools, Bristol Central, Bristol Eastern and St. Paul listened to keynote speaker Gary Palladino who outlined his ideas on what would be a road to success.
Introduced to the audience by Bristol Sports Hall of Fame (BSHOF) President Dave Mills, Palladino, a three-sports captain at Bristol Eastern class of 1963, and the current boys basketball coach at Notre Dame High School in West Haven, was returning to his roots, as he has done before, in sharing his words.
“Success is the point in the road where opportunity meets preparation, too often disguised as hard work” said palladino, who has been inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame, Connecticut High School Coaches Hall of Fame and BSHOF, among a host of other awards.
Palladino’s message covered many aspects of being a good leader and a success, including the process from the brain to the heart, a five-step process which only works when thought is given at each level.
“Success equals faith and focus,” added Palladino, who also spoke on curiosity, concentration, verbal communication, time and effort, and as well as other areas one should practice.
In referring to his growth through the years as an individual, coach and teacher, he went back to this freshman year at Eastern where BSHOF president Mills was then a three-sports captain as a senior, a role model to Palladino then and still today.
“He was a great role model for me.” said Palladino “He really seemed to understand his role. He was a good dresser and also presented himself well. He did all the things needed.”
In bringing his message to the athletes in attendance Palladino was reminding them, “don’t you dare under-estimate the freshman that’s look at you.”
Often during his commentary, Palladino presented the question, “How do you feel today” and that to be on the right track one must feel better than good, feeling great.
“I feel great!.” said Palladino. “(Only) Good is the enemy of great.”
Following his presentation Palladino was presented a plaque of appreciation by BSHOF executive director Jack Hines and Mills followed by passing out an eight-paged “What Is A Captain?” booklet Palladino had put together for those in the audience. Among its content included two ways to lead a team, effective leadership behavior, suggestions for captains at practice, the qualities of a good leader and others, plus a personal profile sheet with 50 questions for the student athletes to take home to evaluate themselves.
The final segment of the program was comprised of individual group discussions on five questions posed the athletes by the BSHOF. One was “What are your five most important responsibilities as a team captain?”
One table of athletes, comprised of Kaitlyn Burns, Michelle Franks and Ryan Phillip of Bristol Eastern, Laura Hamelin and Laura Riccio of St. Paul, and Molly Ceglarski and Andrew Sgro of Central, answered the question and then some as follows: Have a positive attitude, be competitive, be a leader in practice as ell as the game, use constructive criticism in approaching a teammate or problem, be approachable and be courageous.