"The School Coach Quit"
by Alan Maher
The papers have a series of articles about how the scholastic athlete is affected by the move. Typically, the paper shows a photo of a scholastic athlete sitting alone in an empty gym or in the bleachers of an empty stadium. The student athlete is portrayed as alone and abandoned with his future plans all but shattered by the departure of the coaching..
If the papers play up all the negative aspects of what has happened, and the readers support the papers I suspect that we have lost our way about what school is all about. It is not about getting high school student athletes into college and it is not about getting college student athletes into the ranks of the pros. That is not what school is about. .
School is about educating all the students in a well-rounded program that gives them exposure to the academic, social, cultural and recreational aspects of learning take care of themselves in the near future. Years ago a famous Montessori teacher wrote a book called, "Learning How to Learn." Read that title again. The ultimate goal of education is to carry the student to a point where help is not needed in learning for the rest of one's life. Learning how to learn. What a great goal! Fantastic, but possible.
What is the role of the student athlete? Notice that I keep calling him or her the student athlete, not just by the title of "athlete." The student athlete represents the school in selected athletic endeavors. Such a person should be a member of the student body in good standing. That means good grades and good attendance. They should belong and participate along with the rest of the student body. Sitting alone in the gym is not participating.
Schools help students to be self sufficient and active in the affairs of their individual families and the community. Part of being self sufficient means that the students should be able to be employed and seek long term goals in terms of careers. Schools should reflect the cultural aspects of the community in terms of art, music and dance. That also includes literature and poetry. All cultural aspects should be considered. All.
So the student athlete is part of a greater whole and should embrace the new coach and try to flourish in all ways under the new coach. Help the coach to become part of the larger school community. The academic community.
I am tired of seeing student athletes pout in an empty gym for a photo op for the local paper. Get up off your rear end and join the school community in wishing the coach leaving all the best in the new position, and most of all, welcome the new coach with some enthusiasm. It may create a great "Next Year."
Student athletes are not just athletes; they have a heavy task as they represent their student body. So the student body needs to support the student athlete. Get them out of empty gyms and away from empty bleacher seats. Keep them active as members of the student body.
Back to reading my papers. I hope that there is some good news today.
Ask him about his manual (with many 'new' games) called,
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