Athletic Review

SMUS-Views-Bob

Last week we sent out the summary of our recent Athletic Review, as promised before Christmas. (Read it here.) The document has elicited some useful comment, especially in terms of how it reflects our broader community. It is challenging – in fact, impossible with a project that touches an area of school life second only to our academic program – to arrive at conclusions that everyone agrees with entirely. Nevertheless, it is important for us to consider this program in the light of the School’s Mission and Vision, and to consult with different constituencies, survey them and have some conversations – which we did – and then to articulate our purposes and direction.

The basic summary of comments about the Review was this: it resonates. Some people have queries about this section or that section, others would wish for greater emphasis on winning, others would wish for less. It is good for people to know, though, that we have a program that will work to meet the athletic needs of all students, both competitive and recreational, and that we will continue to build our teams from within rather than recruiting for the sake of championships – always a distorting exercise, and rarely a successful one. We will apply best practices, and support our students with coaches who themselves benefit from coaching and professional development.

Over the next weeks I will include in my blog some links to articles that reflect on some of the themes of the Review, and that add substance to points that are addressed more succinctly in the Review.

Here is one on the importance of long-term development of student abilities and their skills as athletes. Enjoy!

The Enemy of Excellence in Youth Sports

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Bob Snowden
Bob Snowden was Head of School at St. Michaels University School for 22 years, from 1995-2017.

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