Effective Leadership in Coaching and the Deterioration of Scholastic Athletics

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        Daniel Andrews on #15676

        More and more we are seeing athletes move away from the scholastic setting into the club setting. In some cases now it is away from the scholastic setting and into the professional ranks. Several instances in this track and field season have me questioning whether we have the correct leadership in place at the scholastic levels. I have no doubt the non-profit multi-million dollar scholastic sp

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      • Mike Young
        Keymaster
        Mike Young on #82499

        Nice first blog post. What are your thoughts on being a tough guy, losing some kids as a result in the short term, but gaining the respect and a return to participation levels in the future when (if?) the increased discipline leads to more success. Everyone wants to be on a successful team right?

        ELITETRACK Founder

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        Daniel Andrews on #82505

        Nice first blog post. What are your thoughts on being a tough guy, losing some kids as a result in the short term, but gaining the respect and a return to participation levels in the future when (if?) the increased discipline leads to more success. Everyone wants to be on a successful team right?

        Mike:

        First off, thanks for allowing me to blog this post. I think there is a lot more to this subject and I tried to condense it down without making direct accusations towards any coaches. I also believe there are several other tangents this topic can take off on.

        I don’t think there is a place for the tough guy without good judgment. If you are going to be tough, you have to be fair to the athlete, because they cannot make the call on what doctor appointments, funerals, vacations, and other family activities they have to go to and the coach doesn’t either because it’s the parents decisions. Secondly, not every athlete is as smart as the others and may require them to miss all or portions of practice to receive academic help. Now if all these cause the athlete to miss 2 or 3 practices a week I would still allow them to compete in 1 or maybe 2 events depending on their willingness to make up and do workouts on their own. Which doesn’t take a whole lot of insight to know if the athlete did these workouts, altered them, or didn’t do anything at all. I can also deal with athletes missing practice for other scholastic activities. The more active the athlete is in the school the better off the school and athlete are.

        I really think the best scholastic coaches who have created great programs in last 10-15 years don’t put team before family or academics. They still must be firm and enforce policy. There are coaches who are tough guys but they developed their programs 20 or 30 years ago when there weren’t as many opportunities and can still be successful because their program is a part of the school mystique and culture. The biggest problem maybe a near majority or majority of coaches don’t enforce policy effectively which results in a breakdown in discipline and order in the team. If a coach doesn’t enforce his policies effectively and immediately he’s opening himself up for trouble. This is probably the most common error I see in leadership at the coaching level. Squash the problems before they get out of hand.

        Right now I see more and more kids moving scholastic athletics because of the inflexibility of the structure, be it coaches, officials, associations, etc… to clubs because it allows the kid who still hasn’t decided what he likes the best the options to do the most possible activities.

        This scenario only fits the scholastic level and not the collegiate or professional level. However, how many freshmen are shell shocked coming out of high school without being able to prioritize effectively? I would say its a high percentage, I am not saying we should create Montessori like training environments to combat this, because we’d end up right we are. However, with the athlete able to control so little in decision making we can teach them more by forcing them to make decisions which don’t affect participation by being accountable and responsible for what they are doing and the decisions they can make.

        I can see a problem in team sports where movement with other team members is vital to success and missing practices, but that is another tangent.

      • Nick Newman
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        Nick Newman on #82507

        Very nice Daniel!

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        ex400 on #82508

        All very well stated, Daniel. As a HS girls’ coach I face all that you do. The girls on our team tend to be very high achievers off the track, in academics, music, etc. In most cases, those activities are more significant to their futures than is track. We have no girls who will get into college based on track, much less get a scholarship, but many of them can aspire to Stanford, Yale, etc. based on academics and other talents. So we are flexible, as we must be. Our basic attitude is that we are fine with their scheduling conflicts as long as they let us know (rather than just not showing up), make good efforts when they are with us and don’t cause trouble. As a high school coach we certainly do not “own” the kids like a college coach with scholarship athletes. This week, our only good pole vaulter is going to miss two meets because she is representing the school at some big academic competition out of state [somewhat frustrating]. We will also miss an important sprinter because her family is going to Hawaii on vacation [much more frustrating]. There is a lot we cannot control, so we just carry on doing the best we can.

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        Kebba Tolbert on #82509

        I actually disagree. I think that kids and parents do have choices. When they sign up/try out for a team they are making a commitment to abide by certain rules and regulations. Regular attendance is once of them. Parents do have choices when they schedule things and they should, when possible, try to schedule them so that kids don’t miss practices. As far as vacations during the season, why does it seem that these thing problems tend to come up mucb less in sports like basketball and football?

        Although those sports come with their own sets of problems having a “bench” is a significant deterrent to certain problems like missing practice and games. We do have a bench in track, we just tend not to use it.

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        Daniel Andrews on #82512

        Again, I disagree, parents schedule vacations based on work and school. Athletics must come after family and education despite whatever a coach feel. Football runs August to November, I don’t believe many people have or take Vacations in those months. Basketball has Christmas Break which is two weeks long and there are some troubles with this, but every coach has the same problem occurring at the same time. Track on the other hand has varied Spring or Easter Breaks depending on the school. I think in the grand scheme of things, parents are more willing to travel long distances for Thanksgiving and Easter holidays than they are for any other reason. The rise of club athletics has also bitten into summertime options as local competition has been now replaced with nationwide competition at the club level because of its growth which is a result of poor leadership in the scholastic realm.

        Kebba the coach has a choice he can be accepting or not. If an athlete or parents plan for that child do not fit his system then the athlete should not be on the said coach’s team. Thereby limiting participation.

        If you try coaching that way with a scholastic population under 1000 kids you will not be successful or have a very good participation rate. I also believe you limit your reach and diminish the possible lessons that be taught in a different manner.

        You must realize, I come from a military background and thought that way works best. It doesn’t. The athlete cannot overrule the parent, therefore any punishment is because of a parent-coach conflict. You do this at the risk of creating a problem between the parent and child, yourself and the parent, and you and the athlete(child). That’s a nice way of saying I have more power than your parents. Then the athlete’s parents dictate policy through school boards and rants to papers. The coach by working for the school works for the parents. We don’t live in a communist state or dictatorship.

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        wisconman on #82513

        How much of this has to do with the focus of the individual? If a coach or athlete only cares about winning/ doing their best, aren’t they going to sacrifice grades/family etc. to get there? I don’t have a lot of experience in the club vs. High School area, but looking at it from a scholastic point of view I know a lot of coaches who only cared if their athletes got good enough grades to pass, and athletes who only went to school because they wanted to play sports. And how do we judge success? P.R.’s for the athletes that compete, or getting the best athletes in the area to compete for you and maybe not try their best and go to all of the practices but win when it comes to game time? Are we trying to win or teach life goals?

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        Daniel Andrews on #82514

        Wisconman:

        You can do both, excel at athletics and excel academically. Both excellence and success are subjective, but it if you strive to do both you are bound to have conflicts especially if athlete’s are learning life’s lessons. The coaches who only cares if a kid is doing enough to pass classes is not teaching his athlete what he expects on the field of play. Those coaches need to be driven from the scholastic ranks, they don’t belong. If you want excellence you expect it in all areas of an athlete’s development.

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        Kebba Tolbert on #82516

        Not only can you do both, you *should* do both. It’s not an either/or proposition – to present as such is a false dichotomy. I’ve had lots of academic all-conference athletes and academic all-american teams as well as natiuonal champions, conference champs and so on. I am as easily annoyed by people who waste their opportunity for a quality education as I am with those who waste their athletic talent.

        I realize that I may be in the minority here, but I just believe that practice is fairly sacred. I’ve had kids who had to take classes that conflcited with practice. We work around it. Family things do come up, and when reasonable I try to accomodate those things, but it’s not an absolute. With the younger student-athletes I am a lot less flexible until they demonstrate a certain level of responsibility/commitment to excellence.

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        Chad Williams on #82517

        Not only can you do both, you *should* do both. It’s not an either/or proposition – to present as such is a false dichotomy. I’ve had lots of academic all-conference athletes and academic all-american teams as well as natiuonal champions, conference champs and so on. I am as easily annoyed by people who waste their opportunity for a quality education as I am with those who waste their athletic talent.

        I realize that I may be in the minority here, but I just believe that practice is fairly sacred. I’ve had kids who had to take classes that conflcited with practice. We work around it. Family things do come up, and when reasonable I try to accomodate those things, but it’s not an absolute. With the younger student-athletes I am a lot less flexible until they demonstrate a certain level of responsibility/commitment to excellence.

        I am on board.

        I have tried to be the “nice guy” and eventually you get rolled on. Lay out the expectations and make the first few weeks tough. Once you know they are in the trenches with you and earned some respect, show em that you are human.

        I have a small contingent of athletes every year and I still have no problems weeding out the herd. Either you are committed, or you aren’t. Eventually, those that are committed resent those that aren’t and also take away from the time you can be spending with the kids that want to be there.

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        Daniel Andrews on #82519

        Not only can you do both, you *should* do both. It’s not an either/or proposition – to present as such is a false dichotomy. I’ve had lots of academic all-conference athletes and academic all-american teams as well as natiuonal champions, conference champs and so on. I am as easily annoyed by people who waste their opportunity for a quality education as I am with those who waste their athletic talent.

        I realize that I may be in the minority here, but I just believe that practice is fairly sacred. I’ve had kids who had to take classes that conflcited with practice. We work around it. Family things do come up, and when reasonable I try to accomodate those things, but it’s not an absolute. With the younger student-athletes I am a lot less flexible until they demonstrate a certain level of responsibility/commitment to excellence.

        Kebba:

        I don’t think you are in minority if you feel you can work around conflicts. I have had athlete’s miss as many as 3 practices in a week and the next meet they get 4 events (no relays) if they have completed a workout for them to do or altered it in a way that is acceptable. Showing good judgment and expecting it from the athletes is the only route to take. If an athlete cannot demonstrate responsibility or a commitment to excellence they are gone from the team for the season, unexcused absences, slacking, unwillingness to compromise in training methods are the things which can tear a team apart. So goes for lying or being disrespectful to me, you lie to me and continuing lying or you disrespect your teammates or competitors you are gone. Those things are more important than tardiness or absences as both of those could have valid and acceptable reasons. The one thing I took from my military background and applied successfully to Coaching was the Marine Corps leadership traits, “Judgment Justice Dependability Integrity Decisiveness Tact Initiative Endurance Bearing Unselfishness Courage Knowledge Loyalty Enthusiasm” or JJDIDTIEBUCKLE. I guess the difference between coaches is how these traits are applied.

        I don’t even believe family is sacred, some families are better than others at raising children. It’s these families I usually have conflicts with about vacations, doctors appointments, other scholastic activities. The other athletes tend to want to stay away from their families. So then I try to provide that structure to them through the team and school. So there is no way I will even make the team or practice sacred. The goal is to let the athlete find what is best for them. I think ex400 and I learned really quick that what we could expect from male athletes is totally different than female athletes as well.

        In the end I believe my actions as a coach are what allows me to be successful. I know leadership by example is so cliche now, but its true. When athletes and potential athletes see the sacrifices and commitments I make without complaining they are more willing to sacrifice and be committed. When they see I am fair and will back them up when they are in the right, they will be as just and loyal in their judgments. I believe I could on forever on this subject, but I want others to speak up on either side of the issue.

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        RussZHC on #82520

        I can’t speak about all of Canada but locally the mix of school and club is somewhat strange.
        There are two or three larger schools that tend to be organized to a greater degree (why, not sure but it makes sense since with a larger student body they need to be just to function) and as result of that and the large population to pick from, have developed Athletics programs.
        Other schools have only varying degrees of Athletics programs.
        Couple this with a short outdoor season (May and maybe 2 weeks of June) via the school system and those that are really interested or wanting to develop in Athletics are almost forced into involvement with a club.
        This is complicated even more by, excepting a small honorarium, the club coaches are volunteers and those who do coach at schools are most often doing it as part of extra-curricular work; lately this, extra curricular activities, has become a sore spot in terms of union bargaining agreements partially as due to facility use during school hours means many/most activities, sport or otherwise are outside of what used to be “regular” school hours.
        What does this mean? Do you cut programs that enrich all lives? Do you have fully qualified teachers/instructors getting paid more to work more hours? Do you have those same qualified personnel working the same number of hours but less traditional hours?
        I mean if you want to talk about life lessons, can not just as much be learned in either situation? It also means that though it is outside of “regular” hours, the activities at or connected to a school are still for marks. This is carrying the “big stick” as instantly those activities override all others or nearly all others.

        I have always tried to keep it “simple” by allowing decisions to be made but wanting athletes to understand decisions have consequences, including those decisions I make as a coach.
        I agree with parts of much of what has already been said but what I do not understand is if you commit to something how you can not stay committed to that? If you continually commit to things pretty soon you are going to run into issues simply by running out of hours in a day and if this is being shifted to the parents, they certainly need to realize the time involved.
        Sorry, but you can not have it all. If something, sport, school, personal life, etc. has to share, it has been my experience that once that list of “priorities” grows to about 5 in number there will be sacrifices and in some examples enough that 1 or more of those 5 will suffer enough that the level of “excellence” will drop significantly. It sounds mean but if you get a puppy, that is a commitment to the health of that animal for at least a couple of hours every day and that is a couple of hours you don’t have to do something else. Yes, that is a myopic view but each person in charge of the various activities may see that time as time that could be spent with sport, fine arts, work, study, social life etc. [If the example sounds a bit silly, at one point I was on a committee where the meeting dates and times were more or less controlled by whom had to arrive and leave when to get back to their dogs. I like dogs but…]

        I recently read/heard a statement, it may have been somewhere on this web site, but it was very telling, “playing [insert sport here]” or “playing at [insert sport here]” and of course this applies to other activities as well.

        If an athlete commits to 4x per week but then adds a part time job (in this particular example I have in mind, it certainly was not a necessity) and then as the year goes on in school and adds special interest after special interest, the days you said you were committed to change and shift throughout the year until you are down to an average of 2x per week with one or both of those being your “specialty” event, how do you expect to succeed? It is less work in Athletics than you did 2 years ago when competing in a younger age group. Again, sorry, not the way the curve works.

        If you work at something less than what others are willing to do, how do you expect to be competitive? And if you don’t, you have now shifted from competitive to participative and those are two completely different things in athletic terms. For years I have maintained, with a local view, that if someone were to take it to heart that they wanted to be the “best” in event “X”, they could, barring those of natural ability that pop up from time to time, just by putting the time in.

        FYI: the move is now on, locally, to shift more back to the schools and, percentage wise, the numbers have never been bigger.

        Oh, one of the instant “difficulties” created with a club, unless you restrict the age group and even then, is the older age athletes generally will have more freedom of choice but this in turn can cause younger athletes to want the same choices even though both parents and coaches realize they are not mature enough to handle the consequences of some choices, leading to a number of “why can’t I…’discussions'”.
        At some point there is only so much I can “ask” someone to do, then it becomes a choice if they chose to do it or not.

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        Daniel Andrews on #82521

        [quote author="ktolbert" date="1240957959"]Not only can you do both, you *should* do both. It’s not an either/or proposition – to present as such is a false dichotomy. I’ve had lots of academic all-conference athletes and academic all-american teams as well as natiuonal champions, conference champs and so on. I am as easily annoyed by people who waste their opportunity for a quality education as I am with those who waste their athletic talent.

        I realize that I may be in the minority here, but I just believe that practice is fairly sacred. I’ve had kids who had to take classes that conflcited with practice. We work around it. Family things do come up, and when reasonable I try to accomodate those things, but it’s not an absolute. With the younger student-athletes I am a lot less flexible until they demonstrate a certain level of responsibility/commitment to excellence.

        I am on board.

        I have tried to be the “nice guy” and eventually you get rolled on. Lay out the expectations and make the first few weeks tough. Once you know they are in the trenches with you and earned some respect, show em that you are human.

        I have a small contingent of athletes every year and I still have no problems weeding out the herd. Either you are committed, or you aren’t. Eventually, those that are committed resent those that aren’t and also take away from the time you can be spending with the kids that want to be there.[/quote]

        Chad:

        I think you and Kebba mistook what I wrote about tough guy coaches. I am writing more about the coaches who lay down rules so arcane they cannot be enforced from the get go and then later when they are enforced it creates problems. Enforcing rules is not taking care of a discipline problem, and doing it 9-12 weeks into the season when you knew it would conflict at the beginning of the season is not discipline its creating or allowing or hoping a discipline problem will not occur. Coaches have to be flexible and fair at the scholastic level. I agree you have nip problems in the bud, before they bloom into a disaster later on.

        If a coach is laying down a policy that zero practices cannot be missed for whatever reason and tardiness is not accepted then he needs to enforce such a policy from day 1 and the parents meeting by removing any athletes that are going to conflict at the start of the season. This is often the policy most coaches are taught and almost zero adhere to, and if they use it as policy it is going to cause problems. 20-30 years ago I don’t think this would have caused problems.

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        Kebba Tolbert on #82522

        sounds about right to me. We’re really not as far apart (philosophically) as it initially seemed.

        KT

      • Mike Young
        Keymaster
        Mike Young on #82524

        Not only can you do both, you *should* do both. It’s not an either/or proposition – to present as such is a false dichotomy. I’ve had lots of academic all-conference athletes and academic all-american teams as well as natiuonal champions, conference champs and so on. I am as easily annoyed by people who waste their opportunity for a quality education as I am with those who waste their athletic talent.

        I realize that I may be in the minority here, but I just believe that practice is fairly sacred. I’ve had kids who had to take classes that conflcited with practice. We work around it. Family things do come up, and when reasonable I try to accomodate those things, but it’s not an absolute. With the younger student-athletes I am a lot less flexible until they demonstrate a certain level of responsibility/commitment to excellence.

        I couldn’t have written this better myself. This is almost exactly how I address the issue. I see practice as sacred and it bugs the crap out of me when athletes do not commit to excellence. Because my weekly plans are designed as a unit where individual practices cannot be taken out of the context of the other sessions within that week, I feel that it ruins the design and planning.

        ELITETRACK Founder

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        Jfrisch on #82532

        Daniel,
        Great post, very thought provoking!
        But
        From my experience the club sport system does not give kids more options. I have worked with many club teams over the past five years and discourage or look down upon any of their athletes playing other sports. Often times these athletes are playing the same sport year around without any breaks. I have seen ten year old girls who were stud soccer players only to hit puberty a few years later and not be such studs anymore. The club then cuts them for new meat and these kids careers are now over at age 14! I have seen families skip vacation so their child can play in the U11 regional soccer championships, which consist of up to 5 games a day on a weekend in July. I have had parents contact me about training their aspiring 12 year old star who just got out of P.T. because of chronic overuse injuries. Some of these club coaches have twice as many letters after their names than I do, but all I see them doing is giving these young athletes watered down adult training programs with a competition schedule that a professional would have a hard time playing in.

        Also from what I have seen, the more structure you give a young athlete the more they thrive. From my experience the moment you let up on these kids they always seem to start to slack off. Believe it or not deep down the athletes appreciate the rules because it shows you care and have put thought into your program.

        Just my two cents..

        Jeremy

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        Daniel Andrews on #82534

        Jeremy:

        I agree with what you are saying about clubs. The problem is the clubs allow more flexibility in participation in scholastic activities like band, choir, drama, student government, and other clubs and activities. Trust me I hate the club systems because they probably more corrupt than the state associations and other governing bodies in scholastic athletics. It makes me sick to watch parents make the correct choice of leaving scholastic athletics, because they don’t allow participation in other scholastic activities. The problem most parents get into is they don’t realize the financial or travel obligations at the club level and once you pay one or two grand you feel committed. If club sports went back to being local and regional and not national I would probably go back to coaching as a club coach. Right now, I really cannot stand club or scholastic environments because they stink of corruption and exploitation.

        I guess the difference is in how the structure is applied. If you provide all structure and define and set all the rules then there is no learning that is taking place. Learning is combination of both observation and experience, testing boundaries, and coming up with knew approaches. In the same sense this great leadership training because it allows initiative on the part of the athlete. When you apply structure you are enforcing a framework of rules or by-laws. If you aren’t enforcing these rules with good judgment, justice, or sensible reasoning you are essentially destroying the structure, discipline and order you need to be an effective leader as coach.

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        ex400 on #82540

        I think some of the people posting are scholastic (high school) coaches, some college, some maybe club. I think it bugs the crap out of all of us when athletes do not commit to excellence. But in high school you get who you get, you take them as they come, and cutting someone is near impossible in the absence of severe disciplinary problems. We get some kids who are really committed, some marginally committed and some who make you wonder why they are there at all. I think Daniel has an excellent perspective on all this. As a coach, I try to demonstrate competence and professionalism, give respect for effort, and show commitment to them both collectively and individually. And I certainly try to make clear the link between consistent attendance/effort and performance improvement. But I think flexibility is necessary when dealing with high school’s demands, whether athletic, academic, extra-curricular. It certainly is at my high school. Daniel is certainly correct in saying that if you set up arbitrary, arcane rules you are going to have problems and if you only enforce them occasionally or haphazardly you are doomed.

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        Daniel Andrews on #82541

        I think some of the people posting are scholastic (high school) coaches, some college, some maybe club. I think it bugs the crap out of all of us when athletes do not commit to excellence. But in high school you get who you get, you take them as they come, and cutting someone is near impossible in the absence of severe disciplinary problems. We get some kids who are really committed, some marginally committed and some who make you wonder why they are there at all. I think Daniel has an excellent perspective on all this. As a coach, I try to demonstrate competence and professionalism, give respect for effort, and show commitment to them both collectively and individually. And I certainly try to make clear the link between consistent attendance/effort and performance improvement. But I think flexibility is necessary when dealing with high school’s demands, whether athletic, academic, extra-curricular. It certainly is at my high school. Daniel is certainly correct in saying that if you set up arbitrary, arcane rules you are going to have problems and if you only enforce them occasionally or haphazardly you are doomed.

        Exactly, ex400, I know I couldn’t have written it any better. If I posted the news articles which explained the exact situations I am referring to then I think most of the posters would understand the direction I am going with this thread. When I first approached mike with the idea of blogging about this was the course I was going to take. I decided since the coach is not technically a professional coach or intentionally out making money as some new guru that leaving him out the discussion was the best alternative and taking a more general and indirect approach to the problem was best.

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        coachformerlyknownas on #82565

        So called “Olympic” sports and others not of the big 3, will continue the slow crawl towards non-public school, club team only applications.

        School district budget cuts will continue and as seen on the NCAA level, will hit the non-big 3 first.

        Track specific, Lacrosse will continue to grow and drain the pool of non baseball, developmental athletes from Track.

        Sorry to be so “glass half empty” but am being honest.

        In the brave new world to come, Track in the US will be more like the Euro-club model.

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        Daniel Andrews on #82567

        So called “Olympic” sports and others not of the big 3, will continue the slow crawl towards non-public school, club team only applications.

        School district budget cuts will continue and as seen on the NCAA level, will hit the non-big 3 first.

        Track specific, Lacrosse will continue to grow and drain the pool of non baseball, developmental athletes from Track.

        Sorry to be so “glass half empty” but am being honest.

        In the brave new world to come, Track in the US will be more like the Euro-club model.

        I think 2 of the big 3 are in trouble and Baseball and Basketball and more so than track because Baseball and Basketball already have problems. I am waiting to see the evolution of super teams on the local and regional levels in football. I think its coming.

      • Mike Young
        Keymaster
        Mike Young on #82571

        I’m not so sure that even budget cuts would hinder track at the high school level. Last I checked (2 years ago), participation in track and field was on a steady incline. This is what makes Title IX so infuriating on the men’s side…you’ve got more men vying for less scholarships and more obscure sports like women’s field hockey are able to give there entire team scholarships.

        ELITETRACK Founder

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        wisconman on #82573

        Not only can you do both, you *should* do both. It’s not an either/or proposition – to present as such is a false dichotomy. I’ve had lots of academic all-conference athletes and academic all-american teams as well as natiuonal champions, conference champs and so on. I am as easily annoyed by people who waste their opportunity for a quality education as I am with those who waste their athletic talent.

        I realize that I may be in the minority here, but I just believe that practice is fairly sacred. I’ve had kids who had to take classes that conflcited with practice. We work around it. Family things do come up, and when reasonable I try to accomodate those things, but it’s not an absolute. With the younger student-athletes I am a lot less flexible until they demonstrate a certain level of responsibility/commitment to excellence.

        I agree with this, and this is the point I was getting at. But when it comes to recruiting, why do we provide athletic scholarships at all if we are looking for all around people? Couldn’t the whole system be ran like D3 is ran? This seems to me that it would fix alot of the problems, athletes would be forced to do well in schools, they wouldn’t be able to float by. A while ago I believe that there was an article on here about how you get more bang for your buck through academic rather than athletic scholarships. We talk about education, but I think we are letting a lot slip through the cracks when we recruit based on athletic performance rather than grades, when we should be doing both The high school system is very corrupt in that a lot of athletes pass their classes with A’s when their teacher is also their coach, or a fan of the athletic programs. Or when a coach/teacher begs another teacher to give their athlete a higher grade. This also happens at the collegiate level.

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        Daniel Andrews on #82575

        Wisconman:

        I think it starts with weeding out bad coaches first. Maybe coaches need to be more critical of each other. I am not saying that any coach is going to be perfect, but we give free passes to those we deem brothers in arms even though they are really stabbing us in the back.

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        Jfrisch on #82590

        Jeremy:

        I guess the difference is in how the structure is applied. If you provide all structure and define and set all the rules then there is no learning that is taking place. Learning is combination of both observation and experience, testing boundaries, and coming up with knew approaches. In the same sense this great leadership training because it allows initiative on the part of the athlete. When you apply structure you are enforcing a framework of rules or by-laws. If you aren’t enforcing these rules with good judgment, justice, or sensible reasoning you are essentially destroying the structure, discipline and order you need to be an effective leader as coach.

        Daniel,
        Great points, I agree with what you are saying. At our school we have two strength coaches and 750 athletes with over 25 teams. If we didn’t have structure and define all the rules someone could get hurt. Realize we are always teaching but it would never happen very effectively if we didn’t have a system with very defined rules. That is why they pay the price when they don’t live up to what is expected of them.

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        RussZHC on #82594

        I am waiting to see the evolution of super teams on the local and regional levels in football. I think its coming.

        and CFKA referring to the Euro club model…

        interesting ideas, I found looking at some of the larger European club sites that they are a lot more than I thought they were…Bayern for example is not just one sport and not just a few age groups, from what I can tell (very very basic German) they sort of have the entire family from cradle to grave in any active aspect, sport or pseudo-sport and if you then think about why Adidas for example would want part of this…well if you have say 5000 kids playing just on the soccer side, that is likely another 10000 bodies as parents, maybe another of the same amount between grandparents and siblings and they are not only connected to that soccer player but they to have other events to go to through the club…plus this is often a life long loyalty…it is a sponsors best scenario…I mean if you want to turn your young son or daughter “on” to a sport give then their own players card done in exactly the same manner as the professional team does…

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        Daniel Andrews on #82597

        [quote author="Daniel Andrews" date="1240965404"]Jeremy:

        I guess the difference is in how the structure is applied. If you provide all structure and define and set all the rules then there is no learning that is taking place. Learning is combination of both observation and experience, testing boundaries, and coming up with knew approaches. In the same sense this great leadership training because it allows initiative on the part of the athlete. When you apply structure you are enforcing a framework of rules or by-laws. If you aren’t enforcing these rules with good judgment, justice, or sensible reasoning you are essentially destroying the structure, discipline and order you need to be an effective leader as coach.

        Daniel,
        Great points, I agree with what you are saying. At our school we have two strength coaches and 750 athletes with over 25 teams. If we didn’t have structure and define all the rules someone could get hurt. Realize we are always teaching but it would never happen very effectively if we didn’t have a system with very defined rules. That is why they pay the price when they don’t live up to what is expected of them.[/quote]

        Jeremy:
        I don’t think I agree with everything stated. More on this later. I realize some of you may view my opinion on this topic as liberal. It’s only liberal in that its innovative possibly (I am sure I am not the first one to come up with this as ex400 has come to similar conclusions as I), but in terms of interpretation and enforcement of structure it will not work if its not enforced properly which happens to be a very conservative or traditional philosophy.

        Expectations come before rules and mean more in the end as some expectations are perceived as the likelihood to enforce the rules.

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        ex400 on #82600

        In Daniel’s original blog, he used the word “leadership” and I think he used the word intentionally and well. There is a big difference between leadership and authority and I think most contemporary high school athletes respond better to and learn more from leadership than authority. Almost any coach can get kids to do something through authority. But I much prefer leadership, in which kids do the program because they have confidence in the coach, believe in their coach’s commitment to them, understand why certain things are done, and are convinced that the program will benefit them. Wisconman referenced running a program like a D3 college program and I think there is a lot of merit in that. At least in my case, we do not have an athletic program with a school attached; we have a school with an athletic program attached and most of our girls are serious students. Rules and structure are needed, but must fit into the total context in which the kids exist. Our team is participating in a fairly big meet this Saturday. Two of our girls will miss the meet because of taking SAT. They are good runners but excellent students who can aspire to the most selective colleges. I would not dream of telling them to be at the meet “or else.” Now, if a girl were to say she could not run because she has a hair appointment for Prom that night, we would have a different story.

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        coachformerlyknownas on #82611

        Not to be redundant but from Uncle Vern’s blog:

        “The Florida High School Athletic Association Board of Directors voted Monday, 9-6, in favor of reducing the number of varsity games – except football – in a season by 20 percent and junior varsity games by 40′

        I am telling you, if you are young enough to position yourself as a coach, or if you have kids who are pre-HS, give some serious thought about where things are heading.

        For full disclosure,the Mrs. and I (with she being the subject opener) have already discussed this very topic.
        She see no issue with our little “soon to be formerly known as” competing in HS T & F while also playing AAU basketball nights and weekends. I have about 15 years to right the ship.

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