Fourteen years ago, the Michigan High School Athletic Association retooled its coaches education program and launched the Coaches Advancement Program. We charged MHSAA Assistant Director Kathy Westdorp to take CAP “anywhere, any time” ... to deliver this face-to-face coaches education anywhere and any time school districts or leagues or coaches associations gathered a sufficient number of coaches to attend. Kathy delivered. Kathy and a committed cadre of trained instructors/facilitators who give up many evenings and weekends to deliver in-person education.
We launched CAP with the slogan, “anywhere, any time.” But it’s time now for a second slogan ... “every coach, every year.”
It doesn’t have to be CAP, but it does have to be every year for every coach. A coaches education program that is organized and documented, research-based and relevant. Student-centered coaches education that goes well beyond Xs and Os.
We cannot define and defend educational athletics – we cannot deliver educational athletics – without this commitment to such education, every year for every coach.
In the wake of tragic events in Michigan that have received nationwide attention, it is not surprising or unmerited that our State and Federal lawmakers are busy with bills. Legislation is on the way, and much of it will focus on coaches ... including coaches among those who are mandated to report suspected sexual abuse and requiring specific training for coaches.
All of this screams for the need for coaches education ... for every coach, every year ... no matter how experienced or revered. In business, politics, entertainment and sports, it has often been the most experienced and respected persons who have acted the worst.
The need is for every coach, every year.