Monday, May 13, 2013

Sportsmanship, Coaching Issues

We tend to view sports through the lens of who's winning or losing, but there are other more important things that happen in the sports world that don't always get much attention.  MSHSL's John Millea recounts one of these tales about sportsmanship:

Here's an email that describes one of the many behind-the-scenes tales that says a lot about the lessons learned through high school activities....


I wanted to pass this along to you. My name is Nathan Johnson and I am a teacher/coach and newspaper adviser at Proctor High School. I get the Bulletin from the league and enjoy reading the letters on displays of sportsmanship.

I wanted to share an example that happened to the team that I help coach. Proctor attended the True Team Section Track meet in Chisago Lakes. The weather was great and the meet was wonderful. On the way down one of our two buses broke down. We only had one bus to try and take everyone home.

We have five coaches and had taken about 70 athletes to the meet. Needless to say we weren't going to fit everyone on one bus for the drive home. I approached the coaches from Hermantown to see if they had any room on their bus.

Hermantown and Proctor High School are close (less than 10 miles apart). We have a BIG rivalry with Hermantown. One of the highlights of our school year is the football game where the winning team takes home the "Hammer." Last year approximately 2,500 to 3,000 fans showed up for the game and it was televised on local TV. This is a wonderful rivalry that also extends to other sports.

When I asked if Hermantown had room, they offered to help out in any way. We ended up sending some of our athletes home with them. Hermantown coaches and bus drivers were awesome. They displayed a great deal of sportsmanship. They also were able to teach BOTH of our teams that rivalries don't have to always be competitive. We can help each other out, as well. I believe that this episode shows why sports and extra curricula are vital to our students.

Hermantown displayed the best of the values we all try to teach our athletes.

Nathan P. Johnson
Social Studies/English Teacher
Mallet Adviser
Assistant Football/Track Coach
Proctor High School"

Something of the flip side of this is a panel discussion recently moderated by KARE 11's Randy Shaver, himself a coach about the pressures on coaches from parents and the changing dynamic in athletics that has prompted the introduction of legislation to "protect" coaches from unwarranted complaints is HERE. No track or cross country coaches on the panel, so hopefully the issue isn't as problematic in these sports.

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