The program pg 10 1-3-19


Luis Miranda takes direction from an instructor of “The Program” before beginning a jumping jack drill. Photo by Marc Allard.

Woodstock Academy junior Luis Miranda was doing everything that was being dictated by instructors of “The Program” correctly.
But he was still catching flak for his performance during the opening drills.
That’s because his fellow Woodstock Academy student-athletes on either side of him were not following instructions.
“Even if I’m doing my job right, it doesn’t matter if someone to my right or left is not doing theirs. It means we’re all not doing our job right. Being called out for that made me realize I had to communicate with the people around me to make everybody better,” Miranda said.
About 40 Woodstock Academy student-athletes took part in The Program last week.
“It’s a team-building and leadership development company with one single mission; to develop better leaders and create a more cohesive team. We’re not a strength and conditioning company, just strictly leadership development,” said part owner and Program instructor Sam Cila.
The company was founded by Eric Kapitulik of Thompson and consists, for the most part, of former military personnel, most with special operations backgrounds and each with their own story to tell.
Kapitulik was a survivor of a helicopter incident in training off the coast of California in 1999 when the copter tumbled off the Pecos, a Navy oiler. Six fellow Marines were killed in the incident.
Cila, from West Palm Beach, Fla., who has been with The Program since it started a decade ago, was a member of the 1st Cavalry Army Division out of Ft. Hood, Texas and later with the 5th group Special Operations. He was injured in 2005 in an ambush in Baghdad.
“I lost most of my left arm, had shrapnel wounds in my left side. I have undergone under 50 surgeries and in 2008 elected to have my left hand amputated. Since then, I have continued to be an Elite level endurance athlete,” Cila said.
While athletics is not what The Program teaches, physical exertion is part of the whole exercise.
“The way we create the adversity is with the physicality piece of it. Anyone can teach leadership in an air-conditioned classroom, but we believe that you develop it when the first bead of sweat runs down your forehead. The only way to do that is raise the level of physicality. That is how we create the environment that most people find challenging; to lead when they are uncomfortable,” Cila said.
The Program instructors were in the area for their annual company meeting and an internal team training session.
The Program will work with approximately 150 collegiate teams, a handful of professional teams and corporate teams over the course of a year.
The internal team training included working with student-athletes from both Woodstock Academy and Shepherd Hill Regional in Massachusetts.
“It was a wonderful opportunity,” said Woodstock Academy interim athletic director Sean Saucier. “I think the students rallied and really got into it, gave it a lot of effort, both physically and mentally. I think everybody walked away feeling pretty satisfied with the experience.”
In addition to the student-athletes, a half-dozen of The Woodstock Academy coaching staff also took part.
“I have got feedback from a couple of coaches who were there that kids have reached out to them with ideas and goals for themselves as to how they will lead in the future and techniques that they will try that they learned (Tuesday). That’s exciting. The kids are internalizing what they went through,” Saucier said. “It was also a great affirmation of some things that our coaches try to teach here.”
Miranda said, overall, he was pleased with the three-hour session.
“What I got most out of it was to just take my time when talking to my teammates or someone else when I’m telling them to do something and to also be more supportive as a leader and as a teammate,” Miranda said. “If one person gets better, we all get better. I want everyone to be involved and get better together.”
Marc Allard
Sports Information Director
The Woodstock Academy



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