Students, Coaches, and Parents,
This last week has brought about many new and unique challenges. I wanted to take a minute and reach out to tell all of you that I am thinking of you. I miss the day-to-day interaction with all of you at school, practices, and competitions, and I anxiously await the return to normalcy. For those of you that are seniors, I empathize with you especially as all of the unknowns right now are making things very difficult and raising many questions that we currently do not have answers to. Please know that we are working daily with local and state leaders seeking guidance and information that will enable us to get through this very difficult and unique situation. You all are the reason that I love my job. I love being a Broncho and foresee many wonderful things that our teams, programs, and this department will accomplish in the future. At this point, I am hoping that we are able to return on April 6th as has been mandated by our Governor and the MHSAA. In the meantime, below are a few things that I wanted to share. Please feel free to reach out if I can help with anything and know how much I am thinking about all of you during this break.
HAS – Mr. Roper and our central office staff have done a phenomenal job at communicating with our stakeholders throughout this process with necessary updates and information. Please use the link below for the most current information from our school district in regards to COVID-19 and our efforts to support our families:
MHSAA – The link below provides updates to athletic related questions from the Michigan High School Athletic Association in regards to this COVID-19 pandemic.
LETTER FROM MARC HAGE – Marc is the Director of Athletics at Livonia Churchill and was named as the Michigan Athletic Director of the Year in 2019. I have taken a couple of classes that Marc has taught at our MIAAA Annual Conferences the past few years and he is a phenomenal leader and an even better man. This letter offers some thoughts in regards to these difficult times.
WORKOUTS – Even though team workouts are not allowed by the MHSAA that does not mean that you cannot get in a good workout at home. An Internet search of “Coronavirus at-home workouts” will bring up an endless number of suggested workouts. Keep yourself in shape by creating a simple plan and following it.
PERSONAL GROWTH – Below are some videos that I have found over the years that provide good information and learning experiences for leaders, coaches, athletes, and parents.
- Personal perspective – This is a commencement speech from Rick Rigsby that talks about overcoming adversity and living a life of fulfillment. It is very powerful and something that I think provides insight in dealing with tough situations — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bg_Q7KYWG1g
- Being a GREAT teammate – This is from Becky Burleigh (Head Women’s Soccer Coach at the University of Florida) and discusses how to build trust amongst teammates what it means to be a GREAT teammate — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMWq2tJYF68&t=6s
- Grit –This is a feature from ESPN detailing the struggles of a former marine and his determination to accomplish his goals — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1MvRmgit7o&t=17s
- Mental Toughness –This is a motivational video from Kobe Bryant that really shows why he was the competitor he was. Great insight on mental toughness and determination– https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gi9y3sTrXE&t=10s
This last week has been very different and has brought some very unique experiences for all of us. I think it is important to re-emphasize our three athletic department pillars that can serve as a guide:
- RESPECT EVERYONE – During very difficult times, it is important to show respect for others.Adversity oftentimes has the innate ability to reveal our true character. Our actions and words during these times will be vital in enabling us to move forward and get through this. Also, who knew that we would all learn a new vocabulary term throughout this process — “social distancing”.
- COMPETE EVERY DAY – What are you as an athlete or coach doing daily to make your team or program better? Hopefully we are able to return to normalcy sooner rather than later, and you can bet that our rivals and competitors are continuing to find ways to get better over this break. Find time each day to get a workout in, read a book to grow mentally, or reach out to teammates electronically to check in on them to grow your leadership skills. During times like this, the little things really do go a long way.
- ENJOY THE EXPERIENCE – Even though many of us are confined to our houses, it is vital that you are finding time to enjoy yourself and spend quality time with loved ones. One thing that has brought some enjoyment into my life over this last week was teaching my daughters (ages 9, 7, and 3) how to play MarioKart. I have also found out that they have the same competitive nature that their Dad has, which has led to a few interesting discussions and teachable moments!!
In closing, please know how much I miss all of you and cannot wait to get back to school and our lives as we previously knew them. I empathize with all of you as we were looking forward to so many wonderful experiences and opportunities this spring. These times will pass. Please know that if you need anything, WE ARE HERE FOR YOU!! Please reach out to your resources (i.e. AD, coaches, teammates, parents, friends) to help get through these difficult times.
Thinking of all of you,