Time Again to Increase the Savings Account
Blog: From the Director
Posted Friday, December 18, 2009

Think of school sports as a savings account.

For years and years, the program has made deposits in terms of trust and credibility.  Students revered their coaches, often giving coaches credit for putting them on the path to good citizenship and a healthier lifestyle.  For its focus on pure, wholesome, amateur, educational purposes, school sports has enjoyed unique standing in communities with large attendance at local contests and close, friendly attention by local newspapers and radio stations.

It is good that we built up a huge balance in our savings account of public trust and credibility, because we are making far too many withdrawals these days.  For example:

  • Every time we cut a youngster who wants to be a part of a high school team.
  • When we eliminate a subvarsity team.
  • When we drop a sport.
  • When we add fees to participate.
  • When we force a student to choose one sport over another or to choose athletics over the non-athletic activities of the school.
  • When a crazed coach in some corner of our country does something foolish (like bite off the head of a frog) or something dangerous (like conduct practice in the heat of the day) or something illegal (like promote performance enhancing drugs or ignore hazing).

We need a renaissance of what people think about school sports, which I believe best comes with an old-fashioned revival that emphasizes our core values, including that interscholastic athletics are an extracurricular, education-supporting, school and community building program designed for the everyday (not elite) student-athletes of our schools to participate in a safe and secure environment under the supervision of an adult who is trained to know adolescents’ needs and is committed to putting those needs before winning.

That’s a great investment!

Comments

# dhunt@dowagiacschools.org
Friday, December 30, 2011 9:36 PM
That is great! I think we should have core values and promote interscholastic athletics as well as work with the everyday student-athletes of our schools. But do you penalize or discourage an athlete from being or becoming elite? As I view high school programs and associations across the country, I find that in Michigan we are way behind when it comes to allowing our elite athletes to do what it takes to make it or even be successful at the next level. By limiting what kinds of camps they can participate in, what kind of teams they can play on during the off-season, where they can compete during the off-season,etc... I understand wanting to attempt to keep the playing field level or even. But is that really how life works? If a athlete has a chance to attend full pad camps where he can improve his hitting ability and possibly put him in position to receive a "FREE EDUCATION" why stifle him? If a coach has the opportunity to spend time with his student-athletes in the off-season isn't that beneficial to the kids and the community? Some youth need to have positive outlets and scholastic sports may be the very thing that keeps them motivated and out of trouble. Their school teams may be the only family they know. By not allowing these kids the opportunity to participate in some of these things makes Michigan a poorly recruited state for our student athletes due to the lack of opportunity for exposure. That's just my opinion though.

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