An Athletic Director? What Do You Do All Day?

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2 Responses

  1. 3GenTiger


    Would you consider giving the following book a quick review: Perhaps it’s strong enough to make the cut and be listed above?

    How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character nu Paul Tough ( While not directly focused on sports; it struck me as incredibility insightful and applicable for coaches/teaches leading youth sports program within schools because no other venue enables our children to reveal, use and develop important character traits.

    I would be interested to hear your thoughts on the the New York Times article, “What if the Secret to Success Is Failure?” ( written by Paul Tough (excerpts from the book). While this article devotes most of commentary on kids within private schools in urban communities; I’m curious if this “failure” concept resonates with you. As an AD within a pubic school system thriving in a more rural community (America’s Heartland), is developing character traits seen as a need? Like all school programs, athletics programs plays a role in developing character; but, is it a major core focus or more of an important but perimeter/secondary objective?

    My perspective, Grit, Curiosity, Self-control, Social Intelligence, Zest (enthusiasm), Optimism and Gratitude which this book outlines along with humility are the complete inventory of character traits for athletics who are increasingly role models in our society. No other teacher within a school has more influence on developing character than a child’s coach. In high schools, only coaches have a 4 year relationship with a player, developing student-athletes character everyday. Within today’s modern education environment, SPORTS is the ONLY stage/venue/activity where failure is accepted by parents, teachers/coaches, administrators and educators as part of developing successful members of our society.

    I think this book makes a strong case for developing certain character traits; but, falls short of defining the “HOW”. Would you be willing to devote another blog post sharing your perspective on these particular character traits and if (and to what degree if any) they should be a part of a public school athletic program in America’s Heartland?

    1. highschoolsportsstuff

      I will add the book to my personal reading list. I enjoy seeing what thoughts/comments/suggestions I can get from reads like that.

      Regarding the article – I was reminded of two posts I wrote previously. One of them addressed learning how to lose, and the other was about allowing the lessons taught in athletics to actually be taught.

      I actively promote the three goals of our athletic department with our coaches. I don’t talk about winning and losing with them, since my belief is that winning games is a byproduct of many, many different factors – some controllable, some not. What I do want our coaches focusing on during their daily interactions with kids, can be found in this post. We do that because of our influence on the kids. You’re absolutely right about our voices being more frequent and greater to the kids in our programs. I’ve written about that before as a reminder to our coaches about how we should be acting. I’ve had some really good conversations with club based people following my One Sport Athletes posts about the difference in philosophy between educational based athletics (high school sports) and competition advancement athletics (club sports). I absolutely believe that our mission should be teaching kids how to be good adults through their experiences in activities.

      Great feedback!

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