As have many of you, I recently underwent a week of teacher in-service training here at Victory Baptist Academy. For many schools, in-service week is a dreaded time of mandatory meetings and supposed preparation for the upcoming school year. However, our administrator, Matt Ticzkus, is well connected and always has fantastic speakers lined up for our staff each year. (he reads the blog, so I’m scoring brownie points here) This week we had the privilege of hearing Dr. Phil Johnson of Global Next speak on a variety of topics. However, one of his lectures really connected with me. The notes from that lecture really got me thinking about how I coach and lead today’s generation of athletes: Generation Z.
When I first arrived in Texas I was very surprised by the amount of Christian schools (including ours) that rely on participation from home school athletes in order to field an athletic department. I definitely had mixed feelings about the situation. You can read more about how this policy can affect your athletic department in a previous article. However, today we’d like to look at a more specific angle. How do you include home school athletes in your team?
Our school hired a new teacher/coach for the upcoming school year. I’m very excited, but also kind of bummed out. Since the new coach is coming, I won’t be needed as much in some of our sports. While I look forward to the freeing up of my schedule, I’m a little hesitant to step out of some of the sports that I had been coaching. Most of this is because I’m a control freak, but another huge reason is that I truly enjoy interacting with young people in an athletic setting. I hate thinking that I might be losing opportunities to make an impact.
In the final installment of our “When Culture Doesn’t Click Series” we look at some steps that you can take after you have completed the analysis stage. Once you’ve taken the appropriate time to address the personal, relational, and public reasons of why the desired athletic culture isn’t taking hold in your athletic department, you need to begin to move forward.
This is the second article in this series. The goal is to help those of us who have been trying to establish or fix the culture of the athletic departments at our Christian schools. In the first article we talked about the need to keep things in perspective by not panicking. We also highlighted the need for relaxation in order to help us as athletic directors fight the daily battle of culture change. In today’s post we look to help you get to the root of why positive athletic culture didn’t click in your school’s athletic department.
We have talked a fair amount about the culture of your athletic department. Developing a positive athletic culture is the most important thing that the athletic director can do. It takes leadership skills and extra work that many would deem unnecessary. The culture of a Christian school athletic department is especially important as we seek to use athletics to point our athletes to Christ. Unfortunately, though, despite the efforts of the athletic director and coaches, sometimes culture just doesn’t click. Then what?
For today’s Media Monday post we’d like to direct our readers to the Hardwood Hustle podcast. Bob Jones University athletic director and men’s basketball coach Neal Ring sits down with Alan and Adam to talk hoops, athletic directing, and more. Check it out! It’s a great listen.
I’ve always viewed book reviews as sort of a cop-out from a blogging standpoint. There’s no original content in a book review. It’s just one writer rehashing and summarizing something that a more accomplished, more popular writer has already said. But King Solomon was right when he said, “there is no new thing under the sun.” The goal here is not to necessarily to review The Leftovers: Basketball, Betrayal, Baylor and Beyond, but to convince you why the kids in your Christian school athletic department should read it.
Baseball season is in full swing, so this post might be a bit too late. However, all coaches regardless of sport, age-level, or experience should watch this video. As athletic directors, we could take many of the things that are mentioned in this video and include them in our policy handbooks. The video comes from DNA Sports. They have assembled a great YouTube channel of youth baseball coaching advice.
In our final post of the “Are We Doing It Right Series” we are going to take a look at how our athletic departments at Christian schools should reflect the community of believers that we find in the local church. The whole purpose of this multi-part series is to help us to think through how athletics at the Christian school can be more philosophically aligned with the mission and make-up of the local church. The importance of making sure that we operate our athletic departments in this way is key in helping to train our athletes to continue to grow and serve after they have left our programs.