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What student-athletes can do with their free summer time.

“What should they be doing with their time during the summer?”
That is a common question. What workouts should they be doing?  What camps are the best camps for players to get better? Which camps are the best ones to be seen by college coaches?
All great questions by parents. The answers vary depending on the players skill level and body of work. It also depends on their plans for after high school or college. (Yes, they should have one!) What is missed is the first part of being a student athlete. The student. The part that constantly keeps athletes from playing at the next level or at the level in which they feel they belong talent wise. Not all of them have Division 1 talent. Not all of them have Division 1 size, speed, or agility. All of them need to have Division 1 study habits and academic habits.
Why not spend some of the summer time to get ahead academically? Why not work on the main reason you go to school? It is now July, and every parent and student has a great idea of their academic strengths, weaknesses, and classes to come in the fall. Why not prepare? Why not get ahead?
If the athlete is weak at some part of his athletic game, they will spend every free hour of the day shooting hoops, throwing or catching passes, or in the batting cage to improve their chances to succeed come next season. Need to improve at free throws? Spend more time on them in the off season! Trouble kitting the curve ball? Spend more time on it in the off season! Difficulty with the corner kick? Off season will fix it? Need to run faster or get stronger? Off season baby!
The same thing applies to academics. You have from June until August to improve. Why not use this time to get better at the subjects that cause you stress and drama? Parents have no problems forking up checks to have junior work out with the local dad camp, but wont apply that same logic to academics, which should be the natural focus and priority. I understand applying your free summer time to the games you love, but doesn’t it make sense to apply some of that free time to the courses that are firmly ahead in the student athletes path?
Just a thought. Maybe that GPA could use some summer reps as well.
Go. Be Epic.
Posted in Students
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What is success? What is winning? Finding answers requires asking more questions.

If you are a parent, a teacher, a coach, a mentor, an educator, a student, or an athlete, there are words that are thrown around far too often and far too easily with no real definition of their meaning. Winning. Success. Teach. Learn. Each word conjures up some image in what we do that tells some that the word or idea has been achieved. Trophies. 100’s. A’s. Money. Smiles. Love. Whatever that image is for you, it may not be the image that someone else sees or agrees with. And that person may be the one who gets to decide if it is enough. That leads to confusion, doubt, stress, fear, and yes, LOSING. FAILURE. IGNORANCE. DOUBT.

What brings this to mind is a gathering of coaches, educators, students, teachers, parents, athletes, and supporters who all seemed to be on different pages when dealing with the meaning of the words WINNING, SUCCESS, TEACHING, LEARNING. Even within the same title (coach, for instance) the word winning has different meanings and priorities than one would think. Winning for some coaches is the pay day, or the title, or the game, or even the day the young person moves on happily and prepared for their next coach, game, or team. If there are two players out of a hundred who play at the next level in your program, does that mean the coach succeeded or failed 98 %? Did the athletes become more prepared to contribute to life in their community? Are they in good standing with themselves and others? Is there joy in the games played, or are the games masks for discontent and fear? Do the athletes know why they are playing? Do the coaches?

For parents, WINNING can not be the end goal. Or can it? Is winning of greater importance than love, or learning, or success? As a parent, the priority might be happiness of their child, the experience of their child, or it can be the journey in which the winning and losing takes them on.

For teachers, is the focus TEACHING, or is it loving? Is there a concrete measurement for the growth of the child under the teachers watch and guidance? Is success in teaching the number of A students, or is it the improvement of the former D AND F students into B and c students? Is it the positive impact on the community, or is it about the constant flow and exchange of knowledge and information? Is success in the act, or the result? Is winning in the process or the end?

For the athletes and students, it would be incredibly helpful to know what winning, succeeding, learning, and loving are truly about. It would make sense for them to know what the focus and priority is, and is not. It would be great to know that these things are relative, temporary, and simple when known. If 1% of athletes deem playing professionally, or in college,  as success, the definition of success and failure better be known in advance. If students do not achieve whatever academic goals they deem as such, they should also know the success in their pursuit.

For the educators, what is the measurement for success, winning, teaching, and learning? Is it the number of young people processed through the system, or the number of prepared for living as an adult young people who happily walk out of the schools doors into the world?

I ask questions in hopes of reaching the place in your brain that speaks directly. I ask questions in hopes of reaching the place in your heart that speaks honestly. I ask questions in hopes that someone dares answer the questions for the good of us all. We can not make things better if we do not know why we are doing what we are doing. For clarity sake, there is no wrong answer. Each thing clears a path to know why things are the way that they are. Hopefully, the answers make things better than before. That should be why we are here.

Here are the questions at hand”

What is the priority of education? scholastic sports ? athletics ?

What is the purpose of coaching? What is the greatest result that coaching can achieve? Who is the greatest responsibility to for any coach?

What is winning for the athlete? Who wins if the athlete wins? What is losing? Who loses if the athlete loses?

What is the purpose of teaching? What is the greatest result that teaching can achieve? Who is the greatest responsibility to for any teacher?

What is success for the student? Who succeeds if the student succeeds? What is failure? Who fails if the student fails?

What is the dream for parents? What is the greatest result that parents can achieve? Who is the greatest responsibility to for any parent? What is success for the.parent? Who wins if the parent wins? What is parental failure? Who fails if the parents fail?

I hope that we can begin to define the why and what of these questions so that we can get to the HOW?

Posted in Edcuators, Parents, Students
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