Is a Future Possible?
Blog: From the Director
Posted Tuesday, September 20, 2011

While interviewing candidates for a staff position, we posed the question:  “What will school sports look like a generation from now?”  And we followed up with:  “What will the MHSAA need to do to be of relevant service in that future?”

In a follow-up interview with one of the leading candidates, when I invited questions, that candidate turned the tables and asked me what I thought school sports and the MHSAA would look like in 10 or 20 years.

These exchanges, and all that has been changing as school districts chop away at school budgets and programs, has me wondering if a future is possible for school sports.  But the answer is almost certainly “Yes.” 

School sports have survived two World Wars, the Korean War and Vietnam, as well as the Great Depression and multiple recessions.  School sports has existed before and after interstates and the Internet, before and after suburban sprawl and space exploration, before and after television and Twitter, before and after . . . well, you get the point.

Will school sports change?  Certainly.  But if history is a good indicator, it will change more slowly than the society around it.  And many people will cherish that gap.

Comments

# gw
Friday, December 30, 2011 4:04 PM
What will school sports look like in Michigan in 10 years? That depends largely on how much the MHSAA assimilates or distinguishes itself from the model cast by alternatives like AAU, et al. Programs outside school affiliations, with their emphasis on victory over character, may well become the more attractive course chosen by mom, dad, and athlete in the near future, especially as scholastic programs are curtailed and such alternatives sing their siren songs. Will the vital links between classroom and athlete, between scholastics and athletic success, between coach as teacher and athlete as student go by the wayside? Will the MHSAA come to reflect the attributes of extra-scholastic programs, or will it boldly strive to distinguish itself and become the favored alternative?
The answers to questions such as these will make the crystal ball much less cloudy.

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