Monday, September 23, 2013

One Month In

We're a little over a month into the fall seasons and I thought I'd just take a moment to recap some of the exciting things that have taken place.  (In no particular order)

1 - Our Cross Country teams both captured championships at the Des Moines Hoover Invitational on Sept. 10th.  

2 - Our Football team got a fantastic, and convincing, Homecoming win over Winterset on Sept. 20th.  The 43-12 win put us right back into the thick of the playoff race.  

3 - The Wildcat Volleyball team sits at .500 at this writing with two home conference matches against Carroll and ADM this week.  Would be a good time to come out and support the team.  

4 - The Marching Band is working hard on their performance show and begin some competitions this coming
weekend.  Good Luck as they get going in this part of their season. 

5 - The Dance team has been working hard, and had four girls selected to participate in the All Iowa Drill Team that will perform at the Girls State Basketball Tournament on Championship weekend. 

6 -  The Cheerleaders routine is looking very good and they'll be competing in a couple of competitions in October.  

7 - Probably some of the most exciting news in the past week was the school board voting unanimously to proceed with the field turf project in the football stadium.  This project will allow our students some much
needed access to the field.  Here are just a few of the groups that will benefit when this project is completed.  

Football - Practice space and games. 
Soccer - Practice space and matches. 
Track - Practice...last year over 200 MS and HS students around the area when all practicing the same day. 
Marching Band - With our band numbers approaching 100 participants, this allows our band a place to rehearse their show every day. 
Softball/Baseball - When their fields are too wet to take some infield the turf field will help to provide a place for some field practice.  
PE Classes - This will be used a great deal by our PE classes for outdoor activities in the fall and 

         These are just a few of the school groups that we know will benefit from this project.  Thank You to the school board for their vision, and recognizing the need for this new field.  

Students - Keep working, improving, learning, leading, and competing. 
Coaches - Keep working, improving, teaching, leading and competing. 
Fans and Parents - Keep encouraging our young people and supporting their efforts.  Our students are very appreciative of the support, and I can guarantee you a kind word of encouragement goes a long way.  
Wildcats - Give the best effort every day and support each other.  We can all do that.  

We have a lot going on. I'd encourage you to take advantage of the nice fall weather, and support Carlisle Activities.  


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Guest Blog - HS Principal Dr. Tony Aylsworth

As I  gear up for the start of the year I find myself thinking a lot about leadership & what it means to lead.  Like other organizations, schools are full of formal and informal leaders.  Consequently, I put together a "Top Ten" list of thoughts on leadership based on my experiences and things I've learned over the years.  

1)  Leaders must know themselves, their beliefs, and remember them when times get tough.  Be aware of 
      who you are, and what you stand for. 

2)  Leaders know they don't always know all the answers and seek out those who can help by listening and 
      solving the problem. 

3)  Leadership includes surrounding yourself with others who will challenge your thinking and help the 
      organization improve.  Leaders have an eye for new talent and constantly develop those already 
      within the organization. 

4)  Leadership is often as simple as listening, inspiring, and relationships. 

5)  Leaders find balance between pushing the organization to improve and supporting those within 
      the organization. 

6)  Leaders commit to continuous learning and constantly expand their personal learning networks (PLNs).  
      A mentor once told me "you can't lead it if you don't take time to read".  She was right!

7)  Leadership is situational and contextual.  It does not look the same in every organization. 

8)  Leaders must have some level of selfishness & humbleness.  Leaders don't ask others to do things 
      they wouldn't do themselves.  

9)  Leaders continually expand their circle of trust AND their circle of influence.  

10) Leaders must know when and how to recharge their batteries.  (can't take full credit for this thought, 
        it's something I heard many times from a mentor).  

Sunday, September 8, 2013

A Link for Parents

In this week's blog I'd like to share a link, mainly for parents.  I think it's well worth the read and thinking about the points that are made.  As a parent of three children, who's playing careers are now over, I know it's hard.  I readily admit that,  but as I said in last weeks blog, the thing I remember the most about my mom when I was competing was exactly what this article talks about.  I hope you'll enjoy the article.

Make it a great week.


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

What Is A Fan?

The beginning of the 2013 football season, in particular the college football season, brought a reminder to me about being a fan.  

The start of every sports season brings with it excitement and anticipation.  Every team is undefeated.  Fans can point to two or three areas of strength for their team, and those strengths will surely outweigh any weaknesses the team may have.  We love the preseason hype, offering our opinions to rival fans as we banter back and forth as we anxiously await the start of the season.  

Then one of two things happen.  Our team either wins, or it loses.  At the conclusion of the game we have many opinions, most of which are probably just that, opinions.  I’ve heard a lot of opinions from Hawkeye and Cyclone fans over the last few days.  Many have been negative, blasting comments, from both camps, that I just don’t understand.  Either you’re a fan or you’re not.  Now, to be fair, this isn’t about Wildcat fans at all.  I was prompted to think about being a fan by what I heard the last couple of days after college games on Saturday.  

I think being a fan means supportive of the team through thick and thin.  A fan is defined as “a person who is enthusiastically devoted to something”.  The key thought in that definition is to be enthusiastically devoted.  To take it a step further, when you look up the word devoted the word loyal comes up in several of the definitions.  One step further?  Loyal means to show continuing allegiance.

To summarize let’s look at what a fan should look like.

1 - enthusiastically devoted
2 - loyal
3 - continuing allegiance

There are a good, if not great, number of fans who can be described using the terms above.  I would just suggest and encourage us to be true to our school, and in particular the athletes who put themselves and talents on the line night in and night out to represent the school that we support.  Our ability to be a true fan should not be measured on whether our team wins or loses a contest.  Sure, it helps to win, but we need to constantly keep things in perspective, win or lose, and support the effort.  

There are four roles available at athletic contests.  You’re either a participant, a coach, an official, or a fan.  It’s best to limit yourself to just one.  When you step from one role into another there usually is some sort of negative reaction associated with it.  

Wildcat fans, let’s’ lead the Raccoon River Conference, 3A/4A,, and the state in how we support our programs.  I would encourage us to constantly keep things in perspective.  Parents, enjoy the moment and the opportunities you have to watch your child participate.  They are gone in what seems like a moment.  Watching them compete is very special, but the memories they create for themselves are directly measured in how much support they feel from those closest to them.  

I have many great memories of competing in high school, but I think one of the reasons for that is because of sharing those times with my family.  One of the things I remember the most is talking to my mom after the games, getting a hug and a smile. (See, it’s always “Hi Mom” for the camera) She was always encouraging and supportive and just liked to watch me play.   If I can remember that 33 years after my high school career was over, it must have mattered.  

Let’s continue to work to be real fans Wildcats.  Let’s cheer for our team, support our team, and do it in a way that matters and will help our athletes enjoy their experience, create lasting memories, and be proud to represent CHS.  

Have a great week.