Monday, February 25, 2013

More On The Moments

What do you do when you face tough times?  One of the beauties of participating in athletics and activities is that it helps to prepare of us for real life.  Yes, getting a good education is crucial and we must do our best in the classroom during the 8 period day, but I believe that what we do after the 3:20 bell rings helps to prepare us even more for life's classroom.

John Wooden, arguably the best head coach of all time was a master communicator (an English major) and believed that sports helped to build people and that was it's major purpose.  For those who may not be familiar with Coach Wooden I've included a clip that was made after his death in 2010.

Three of my favorite John Wooden quotes are:

"Sports don't build character, they reveal it".

"Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are".

"There is more value in the journey than in the victory itself".

I mentioned last week that what I like most about what I've done the last 29 years are the "moments".  The moments come in the midst of the journey.  I've personally been blessed with so many it's hard to even remember the tough times.

Here's my challenge to you:

If you participate in athletics and activities as a student think about the journey you go on through a season.  You may have won championships or even endured tough seasons without a lot of victories, but think about the experiences you had with your teammates, the laughs, the crazy moments that are etched in your mind that maybe only those that were there know about or appreciate.  You may even think of some sad moments that are important to you because of a special bond with someone on your team or in your group.  Those memories happened on the journey and help to define who you become.

Coaches and Sponsors, think about some of the journeys you've been on with different teams or groups.  Think of those success stories that you've experienced and the memories that you've been able to help create and you enjoy even to this day.

All for now.  Enjoy the week.  Hope you create more memories.


Monday, February 18, 2013

The Moments

The video clip at the end of the blog is a story of incredible sportsmanship and doing the right thing.  Even if you've seen this story it's worth watching again.  I've been at this for 28 years now and I've been fortunate to witness several acts like this in person.  Honestly, it's what keeps me at it.  The moments.

One of the moments I'll remember from this past basketball season is shown below:

You bet, I want to win, but I firmly believe that what we do in athletics and activities must be an extension of the classroom.  Even though I've been here for less than a year I have no doubt that we have students who would display great sportsmanship, compassion, and would do the right thing when given the opportunity.  I again, challenge our coaches/sponsors/directors/students/parents to not miss an opportunity when it's presented to you.

We'll keep looking for ways to show Wildcat Pride and we'll do it with Class.


Monday, February 11, 2013

Think Before You Hit ENTER

On Friday a story was released in the Des Moines Register about a high school wrestling team who put a picture out on a social media site that caused quite a stir and embarrassment to the school.  You can link the story at the bottom of the blog if you haven't seen it yet.

It's just another reminder of how quickly things spread in this day and age because of the internet and everyone's access to it.  It should serve as a reminder to students, and adults alike, to think before we hit the send/enter key.  Once we hit that key, and our words in an e-mail or posted to Facebook and Twitter, or a picture is posted, we can't pull it back.

This brings me to a reminder that we need to not lose the ability to have a face to face conversation with others if there is an issue.  We shouldn't hide behind the keyboard of the computer, or the keypad of a phone to blast someone and throw them under a bus.  We see athletes from the professional to high school level make poor choices on social media sites that are a negative reflection of themselves and their organization.  We also see parents and other adults involved in negative postings as well and it does nothing but create negative feelings and attitudes. Students, keep in mind that your postings are public records and can be made available to future employers.  I've even known college coaches to request access to a potential recruits Facebook and Twitter accounts.  In addition, employers will routinely do an internet search of potential employees to help in their hiring process.  What you post now may have a direct impact on you in a few years if it doesn't catch up with you now.

Finally, It's really no secret that I believe we should try to make a positive difference in the lives of those around us every day.  I think that should not only go for the words we say to people but also to the things we type and post on social media sites.

"The best index to a person's character is how he treats people who can't do him any good, and how he treats people who can't fight back."
-Abigail Van Buren (Dear Abby)

Link to DM Register article:

Des Moines Register Sports


Monday, February 4, 2013

10 Things I've Learned

10 Things I’ve Learned in 7 Months
(in no particular order)

10.  We play in a very competitive conference.  The Raccoon River Conference is very competitive and makes us raise the level of our competitive play.

9.  We have good coaches/directors/sponsors who care about our students and will work to get better.

8.  Change takes timeWe have some things working well and some things that possibly need to be done differently or a little better.  Some of these will not happen overnight.  Small steps are good steps.

7.  Celebrate the small victories.   We sometimes get a bit impatient trying to see a vision become a reality. We’re going to continue to look at things with the glass half full approach.

6.  We have great kids.  I’ve seen some great things out of a number of different students in a number of different activities and look forward to many more.  

5.  We have a community that is passionate.  We all want our kids to succeed. We (coaches and parents) may look at things through a different lens but we all want success.  By the lens, I mean coaches have to look at things from a TEAM first approach.  Parents sometimes see things through what's best for their child. Neither is wrong.  Most of our coaches are parents. We understand that love and commitment to our own child, but coaching has to be done with the big picture in mind and the TEAM dynamic at the front of the thought process.  

4.  I work with a great bunch of people.  I’m not going to start to name them all because the list would become so long it would be an entire blog (but I’ll do that someday).  Whether they help with day to day operations, transportation, facilities, booster club, tickets, volunteering, or other areas, we've got great people who are good at what they do and do it for the right reasons.   

3.  We’re looking for new and innovative ways to communicate and promote our programs and students as an Activities Department, individual programs, and individuals. We want to be cutting edge and leading the way.  

2.  Success is a Journey, Not a Destination. We will never be done.  We want the target on our back, will work to get it there, and then embrace it.  

1. It’s Great To Be A Wildcat.  That IS #1!!


Saturday, February 2, 2013


I’m committing to getting better.  January 28th completed my 7thmonth on the job in Carlisle.  At timesit can be overwhelming and make you feel like you’re spinning your wheelsgetting anywhere but we need to step back at times,  look at what we’ve done and be encouraged byprogress.  

We’ve started some projects, are doing some thingsdifferently than in the past, have other projects on the radar and have avision for what the future might look like. Part of building a vision is hoping to see progress toward it which canbe frustrating at times but I’ve always believed that success is a journey,  not a destination and believe that we have tobe about trying to get better every day even if it’s in small steps.  

One of the ways I’m going to try and get better is to communicatesome thoughts and share a blog more frequently. My goal is to have this be a larger version of Twitter to help me be moreconsistent which will keep it more manageable at around 2+ tweets length at 300or so characters, but it will probably more like 300 words since Twitter countsevery character and space to reach 140. 

I got a book a couple of weeks ago by Jon Gordon (norelation) “One Word that Will Change Your Life”.  Highly recommended.  Reads in about 30-40 minutes.  My word for the year is COMMIT.  I’m going to commit to being better in everyarea of my life.  Husband, Father,Grandfather, Job, healthy choices…you get the picture.  Every area.  Even as a blogger.  So, I’ll try to share a few thoughts once aweek on Monday morning.  I’m going to COMMIT to gettingbetter.  How about you?  Want to join me?