On any team and in any group, there are people who automatically fall into the role of a leader – it’s in their nature. But having leadership thrust upon someone who’s comfortable in the role of follower takes some getting used to. Just ask Western senior Kristin Schramm.
Schramm is in her fourth year of being on the Western women’s basketball team, and is the only senior on the team – a role she is still adapting to.
“This year my role has changed from previous years because I’m the only senior,” Schramm said. “I have to become a leader and I’m not really that loud or outgoing.”
Schramm describes herself as someone who follows people and plays the role of silent leader. During this basketball season, she has had to actually start talking and leading her teammates.
“Even though I’m not that loud, I’ve been trying to lead by example – working hard and doing the right thing – talking comes a lot easier when I try to do that,” Schramm said.
A wing for the Vikings, Schramm began playing at an early age. Her father had immersed her sister, Western basketball alum Sarah Schramm, and her in sports when they were younger, and basketball was what stuck with her, Schramm said. She started playing basketball year round, always being a part of travel teams and participating in tournaments.
Schramm originally came to Western because her sister was on the women’s basketball team, but Schramm did not plan on joining because there was not room on the team. She attended open gyms with her sister though, Schramm said. After a series of players quit or got injured, Head Coach Carmen Dolfo asked to speak with Schramm.
“I went in and she told me that if I ran tomorrow and the next day, and did all the conditioning, that I could play [on the team],” Schramm said. “That’s how I ended up as a walk on, and I’m really glad I did it.”
Schramm, who leads the Vikings in steals and field goal attempts this season, knows that the coaches expect more of her. They are doing a great job of not making her stress out about her leadership role, though, Schramm said.
The leadership role Schramm has does have its upside.
“I like the fact that people are coming to me for help, and looking at me as an example,” she said. “It’s really helped me with my leadership skills.”
Schamm is a sociology major and is set to graduate in the spring, but does not know what she wants to do after college.
Her hopes for the Vikings during the remainder of the season are to stay consistent and make the necessary changes to be successful.
“We’re young, but we all have so much experience now,” Schramm said. “We still have a lot of changes to make, but I feel like if we get out defense more consistent we have a good chance of going to the GNAC tournament and regionals.”