Athletics Strategist, Creative Coaching Visionary, and Impassioned Leader
Pioneering, forward-thinking and solution-focused, Celia Slater is a nationally-recognized leader committed to providing professional development opportunities for coaches of all sports interested in pursuing both excellence in their profession and bridging the gap toward gender equality for both coaches and players.
Celia’s core beliefs rest in the power of emotional investment in reaching one’s own “true north” to achieve the height of victory as a coach, not just in accolades, but by successfully understanding one’s self, being authentic, and communicating with one’s players to have a mutually-beneficial relationship.
“There are many coaches who win very little but are making a huge positive difference in the lives of their athletes, and there are many coaches who win a lot who are not always good role models for our young people. I understand that winning is an important part of the coaching profession – it is the path we choose to get to the winning that I’m interested in.”
With a keen eye, sharp mind and deep intuition, Celia brings integrity to collegiate coaching for all genders, races, and sexualities, and, above all, limitless innovation. Her mantra for coaches stands:
If you want to win, you must begin from within! This sentiment is keenly echoed by one of Celia’s favorite scholars:
“Vulnerability is our most accurate form of courage” – Brené Brown
Unparalleled Experience Coaching On and Off the Court
Celia brings nearly 30 years of unmatched experience in college athletics as both an organizational head and a collegiate basketball coach, most recently serving as co-founder and executive director of both the NCAA Women Coaches Academy (WCA) and The Alliance of Women Coaches (The Alliance). The WCA started as a professional development program and, due largely to Celia’s efforts, soon exploded into a network of women coaches with an ever-growing grant to aid in expansion.
On the court, Celia most recently served at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, as head women’s basketball coach and member of the First Year Experience Task Force. In her early days, Celia was a four-year scholarship athlete and named Most Valuable Player of the women’s basketball team during her senior year at Florida State University. Rounding out her academic experience, she earned her master’s degree in sports administration from the University of Northern Colorado.
Celia’s, creativity, passion for equality in athletics, and extensive experience as a “coach of coaches,” make her a highly sought after speaker and consultant. She has led topics that include, “Philosophy Soup,” “Finding Your Voice,” and “The Bigger Picture of Being a Champion,” which motivates coaches to look at the whole picture—not just winning or losing.
Unwavering Impact and the Road Ahead
In 2014, Celia branched out on her own to launch True North Sports with a desire to extend her work to male and female head and assistant coaches and explore creative new ways to tackle other challenging social issues in collegiate athletics related to race, gender and sexuality. Celia’s purpose is to challenge coaches to find their True North and coach from “that” place—the most authentic place—that lies within.
“If you can be authentic and coach from your True North, results will not define or drive you, in fact, there is a stronger possibility you will find success and significance! Beyond winning and losing, what do you want to be remembered for?”
Furthering this notion, in early 2015, Celia launched the Assistant Coach Immersion Program (ACIP). The ACIP is a unique educational experience that will bring men and women coaches from all sports together. The vision of this program is to develop the next generation of head coaches who will coach from a strong sense of purpose or their authentic True North.
Celia worked vehemently to find her own True North and credits esteemed wellness entrepreneur for finding the courage to build True North Sports. His ideologies reflect much of what finding your True North is all about:
“I spent the better part of the first 40 years of my life looking for a guru, that person who would just blow me away with her or his prescience, kindness, compassion, vision and guidance. The one who would give me the answers. Who would tell me what to do to get to that place where I finally felt like I had ‘made it.’ It finally dawned upon me… The person I was looking for was the one I would need to become.” – Jonathan Fields, Be Your Own Guru
Beyond the Office Walls
Celia has a clear passion for building tribes and communities and that enthusiasm extends into her life outside the office. She is on the current board of Girls Place Inc., a non-profit that serves girls ages 5-18 through after-school programs, athletics, and summer day camp. She is also a graduate of the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators (NACWAA) Institute for Administrative Advancement, a certified Change Cycle Trainer and a certified facilitator for the Pursuing Victory with Honor Sports Ethics Program. In addition, she is a graduate of the Good Life Project Immersion Program.
A Toastmasters International fanatic, Celia has been involved with the organization for several years and earned her Competent Toastmaster Credential (CTM). In her sparse free time, Celia is an adventure-seeker who enjoys traveling, speaking, motivating, and learning new ways to impact herself and the communities she works with.
Celia started from within and, with her help, you can, too!