Continuing Education
Blog: From the Director
Posted Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Essential to promoting high participation with high standards in educational athletics is not only maintaining but expanding training for those who are in charge of and care for our programs.  This means continuing education for our four core constituents. 

The ranks of athletic directors have been greatly diminished because of the economic pressures on school districts.  Those who remain have less time to do their job and, in many cases, less training to do it with.  Because of this, the Michigan High School Athletic Association and the Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association need to respond with basic training – a kind of boot camp – practical, day-to-day stuff.  That’s the focus of the MHSAA’s new Athletic Director Orientation in August and the Athletic Director In-Service programs conducted around the state during August and October.  For the schedule, visit the Administrators Page and go to "In-Services, Education, Programming."

The second core constituents are our coaches; and we need the expectation that every coach, every year, completes one or more levels of the MHSAA Coaches’ Advancement Program and, in addition, maintains current training in CPR and AED.  Educational athletics demands educated coaches; but this doesn’t necessarily mean a college degree.  It means persons who are actively engaged in ongoing training and staying abreast of the best practices in coaching adolescent boys and girls.  For more on CAP, click here.

Our third core constituents are officials, and the MHSAA’s efforts for the near future will have components of both high touch and high tech.  We’ll have more camps in basketball and then camps in many other sports.  These are intended to be inexpensive and focused on inexperienced officials so that we can help them be successful in their early years, and thus give us many years of good service.

The high tech component of our officials education thrusts of the near future include online video training, first in fall sports and then in all sports; and online mechanics manuals that can be downloaded for the convenience of officials.  Visit the Officials Page to view the video clips and mechanics manuals for football (posted), and basketball, baseball and softball as the seasons approach.

The fourth key constituents in our programming are student-athletes, and especially team captains.  We still have the Team Captains Guidebook, authored by our Student Advisory Council, available for schools and school districts to utilize with their captains and coaches.  MHSAA staff members are also available to plan and conduct Captains Clinics for leagues and conferences. Follow the Students Page for updates and resources.


# gw
Friday, December 30, 2011 6:53 PM
Athletic directors responsibilities have increased exponentially over the last decade. Strapped school districts are combining positions that used to be held by multiple people. In our former school district the A.D. was also the vice principal and community education director. Add to this the increased pressure to win because of school of choice and you create a very dangerous environment for student athletes. Schools don't dare cut a sport for fear of students transferring so schools looks to save money by other means. The A.D.s time is split between ever increasing responsibilities which results in less time devoted to keeping athletes safe. Often coaches are hired out side of the school (nonteachers) and little or no time is spent investigating their back rounds . Too often you get ex-jocks trying to relive their glory years through these student athletes. Because these individuals are not teachers they are not trained and have no experience dealing with teenagers. An evening class can't teach someone how to do this. If a parent has a complaint or concern the coach is rarely able to cope with it. The next step is to see the A.D. who is too busy to handle any serious complaints. Then its on to the school board that is overwhelmed by budget concerns or don't want to recognize publicly anything that will shed a bad light on the school because of how it could effect future enrollment (school of choice). Then finally you take your case to the MHSAA and they tell you that it's an internal problem that should be handled by your administration. Your weekend classes and training are a starting point at best. If you want high school sports to survive you need to help relieve the pressure of all involved. Parents, administrations and student athletes. You could start by adding something to your website where a parent could send a serious complaint that would be forwarded to a schools A.D. with out the parent or students name, only the MHSAA would know who sent it. This would allow things to be addressed without fear of reprisals. Start keeping records of complaints and employment records of coaches that A.D.s could access. This could also contain a ranking system similar to that of referees. Lastly, history shows us that laws without enforcement are just worthless. ENFORCE your own rules!! Make schools accountable for the actions of the coaches that they hire. The future of high school sports depends upon it.

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