Many have inquired about the premise of my first book. I have provided the overview I used in my proposal to publishing companies. If you know of anyone that might be interested in reading (i.e., parents, teachers, coaches, administrators, athletic directors) please give them a heads up for plans of the book being available this summer. Here it is, The Overview….
Beyond the Scoreboard: Examining Teamwork, Tension, and Triumph in High School Athletics
In 2008 I had the misfortune of being at the center of a high school coaching controversy in my community. Although I had led the varsity girls basketball team to the greatest success in the school’s history, many parents who thirsted for a state championship second guessed game plans and play calls. My administration, who never defined what comprised a successful high school program, did not provide the structure I believed was effective for me to help kids and without that structure I found myself turning in my letter of resignation. I had prided myself on developing basketball skills but also fostering leadership, character, teamwork, honor, and sacrifice. Nevertheless, I was told by one of my administrators that such a holistic approach to coaching might fit better in a middle school than a high school setting.
My resignation set off a firestorm in the community resulting in over 150 posts on a local sports blog and articles written in multiple newspapers. People on both sides of the issue passionately argued over whether pressuring me to resign in the pursuit of a gold ball was a misguided travesty or needed change. The whirlwind of conflict galvanized my belief that as educators, parents, and coaches we have to go beyond the scoreboard to build much needed life skills to make our student athletes viable, resilient, and successful in their future pursuits.
Beyond the Scoreboard reveals glimpses of the aforementioned controversy and other triumphs and missteps of my 20 year coaching career; the foundation of the book is much broader and more philosophical. It challenges parents, coaches, and administrators to be proactive and collaborative in creating mission statements that will serve as a compass in times of tension and conflict that are an inevitable part of the high school sports landscape. Furthermore, it outlines the rights, roles, and responsibilities of coaches, administrators, parents, and student athletes. The myriad of real life scenarios that are weaved throughout the book challenge readers to develop their own philosophies and are sure to spark discussion among sports lovers regarding what defines success and what is the best ways to handle various scenarios.
Beginning with the definition of ego and how the ego affects our reality, Beyond the Scoreboard dives into a faith driven movement to redefine the purpose of high school sports to include a holistic approach to co-curricular activities. The book outlines how the ego affects parents, coaches, athletic directors, and student-athletes. In addition, the book offers insight on how to overcome ego to allow the inner uniqueness of each person to surface.
Beyond the Scoreboard identifies the purpose of high school sports. These chapters, devoted to parents, coaches, athletic directors and student-athletes, focus on the common purpose of learning and gaining experiences that will promote success after high school. Furthermore, high school sports are a vehicle that must support the growth of a positive sense of self-worth for all student-athletes.
Beyond the Scoreboard transitions from the purpose of high school athletics to providing definitions for success. The book argues that success is in the learning and preparation, not entirely in the winning. Too often coaches are judged on their win-loss record, when what is really important is if that coach has been a teacher of life lessons where student-athletes gain valuable experience that will help them in the future.
The examination of the culture of high school athletics would be incomplete without a discussion of the effects of youth sports. Beyond the Scoreboard outlines the benefits of youth sports and highlights how the world of sport can make a positive impact on children. The book also outlines the ways in which youth sports can prohibit emotional and psychological growth and, even worse, damage the sense of self-worth in our children.
Finally, Beyond the Scoreboard provides suggestions for an athletic program mission statement. Throughout the book, there is a strong implication that high school athletic departments as well as individual high school sport programs need a mission statement. The section devoted to highlighting the mission statement provides guidelines to promote leadership, communication, and a positive sense of self-worth.
Beyond the Scoreboard highlights many personal experiences that give credence to the books primary purpose. The book weaves in a strong sense of spirituality as a foundation for realigning the values of high school athletics. At the very least, this book will provide great insight for high school teachers, coaches, administrators, student-athletes, and their parents as to the proper expectations and intended outcomes of high school athletics and challenges participants at all levels to confront their own priorities and philosophies.