Every once in awhile as an Athletic Director I get the opportunity to walk through and watch practice for a bit. Today was one of those days and I was glad I did. Our coaches do a great job preparing our kids for competition by teaching the needed skills to be successful, but something more is being done in our athletic programs that I, for one, am extremely pleased to see.
First stop- volleyball practice. All of the sudden a whistle blows and girls gather in a circle, they sit down and Jim Ott, who has been providing inspiration to generations of students at BHS, joins the team in a circle. He begins by telling about his day and ends with, “but I am ready for practice”. One by one around the circle team members get the opportunity to share about their day briefly. Some choose to share, some say they don’t have anything, but all end with “but I am ready for practice”.
We hear coaches talk about leaving your non-sport issues in the locker room and when you cross the line it is all about (insert sport here). That mindset is difficult to obtain and quite frankly futile to chase. The little exercise the Comet Volleyball team participated in lets players know that how their day went is valued. Some of the comments were celebratory, some dealt with stresses about homework. But at the end of the day these ladies could share them and “be ready for practice”.
If the activity stopped there, that in itself would be time well spent. Next up Mr. Ott shared a little about being winners at life and gave a little talk about being good teammates and not allowing mistakes to get the best of you. Great stuff and advice that goes well beyond volleyball.
Next stop- football practice. After sitting in on the inspiring message told to the volleyball team, I made my way to the other side of the building. Obviously the weather has not been too cooperative for practicing outdoors and today was no exception. I figured the football team would be gathered for film study so I wandered that way. Upon arrival, there was no film being watched. There was a discussion being held. I heard such things as “How can we be better teammates?” “What can we do to continue to grow our culture and live up to the core values our unity council put together?” “Even if you can’t go to a gathering, isn’t it just great to be invited?” These young men weren’t talking about blocking and tackling, they were in an attentive conversation on culture. There were great ideas being shared by players and coaches alike.
I didn’t make it to cross country practice, but the same type of things take place there on a regular basis as well. Besides, there were puddles to run through……..
How can we be better teammates? I don’t know, maybe share a little about our day, “but be ready to practice.” I encourage everyone to come on out and support our students, you will not be disappointed!