Lessons learned at NCAA Forum to boost Mayo and Tech soccer team
Jun 03, 2010
Will be one of six seniors on 2010 Golden Eagle
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Brooke Mayo is already a leader on the
Tennessee Tech soccer team. Thanks to her selection and attendance
at the recent NCAA Career in Sports Forum, the soon-to-be-senior
from Garland, Texas, has a greater understanding of herself and her
Mayo was one of only four Ohio Valley Conference student-athletes
selected by the NCAA to attend the inaugural event in May in
“I learned a lot more than I thought I would,” Mayo
said. “I learned a lot more about myself.
“I feel extremely grateful for the opportunity from the
NCAA,” she added. “We were learning things the entire
time. They taught us how to network. I feel I already know so many
people in my future field.”
During the past year, Mayo served as president of the OVC
Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). This coming year, she
will be president of the Tennessee Tech SAAC.
She was nominated to attend the Forum by Dr. Lance Jasitt, TTU
assistant athletics director for student welfare and academics,
along with coach Becky Fletcher. The process included an
application and submitting a resume.
“I think one of the primary reasons I was selected is my
involvement with SAAC (student-athlete advisory committee) at Tech
and the OVC SAAC,” Mayo said.
The four-day event was designed to educate NCAA student-athletes
on careers in sports, with a primary focus on collegiate athletics.
This year’s Forum was open to student-athletes who have
interest in coaching. Foundational skills such as communication,
networking, recruiting, managing culture, transitioning and
budgeting were covered with participants.
A total of 391 student-athletes participated. In addition to
Tech’s Mayo, the OVC has two representatives from Southeast
Missouri and one from Tennessee State.
“It was really an awesome experience,” Mayo said.
“They kept us really busy. We heard keynote speakers at every
meal and attended breakout sessions for most of the day.”
Mayo said the “team” sessions focused on how to
“You learned about yourself and how to ‘build’
your brand and identify your values, and how those values associate
with your professional and everyday life.”
She said the Forum included sessions on how to interview, how to
prepare a resume, plus sessions on etiquette, among other
activities to help her in her future endeavors.
“I feel more knowledgeable and more prepared,” she
said. “It helped me realize that you can’t just make a
transition after you graduate. You need to become more professional
throughout your senior year so that your peers and other
professionals start seeing you as a professional.
“You need to start living your values and being who you want
to be right now,” she explained. “It helped me realize
that you never know who’s watching you, wherever you are.
There are potential employers, potential colleagues.”
While benefitting Mayo personally in her quest for a coaching
career, she feels the Forum will also benefit the Tech soccer
program with her serving in a leadership role within the team.
“The team will benefit because I’ve learned how to
be more effective as a leader,” she explained. “I know
what I need to focus on. One of the things I learned from one of
the keynote speakers is that you can never have a bad day. You can
have a bad hour, but not a bad day. You have to find a way to
“This is one of the things that I’m going to try to
bring to the team as a player,” she said. “I’m
going to ask myself ‘am I the best teammate that I can
be?’ and help everyone else get that same attitude.”
Mayo said she would highly recommend the NCAA Career in Sports
Forum to anybody who is interested in a career in sports.
“I learned you need to be passionate about coaching to be a
successful coach,” she said. “It’s so time
consuming to be a college coach, especially when you’re just
getting started and it’s not financially rewarding. You have
to love what you do. You need to have a family that’s okay
with you being a coach. It’s important to balance having a
family and being a coach.”
Mayo plans to include some of what she learned at the Forum when
she prepares a Year in Review presentation about the OVC SAAC for
Commissioner Beth DeBauche.