According to an article on HeraldNet.com, New code elevates attitudes at Lakewood, Lakewood High School (in Lakewood, Washington) has adopted a new approach to sports participation at the school - and this new approach has made a difference.
A group of proactive Lakewood coaches, along with their athletic director, met to revamp sports programs from the inside out, something all high schools might want to consider based on the numerous athletic code violations occurring annually.
Yes, you heard that right, inside out, a terminology I either use, or infer, when discussing more positive ways to improve in and gain value from sports participation. It certainly is a major focus of many of my posts - this idea of the intrinsic being a primary thought process to better things.
The goal of their new initiative, the coaches and their athletic director, was to create higher expectations and develop a culture of excellence, according to the HeraldNet piece. They stated:
"We're talking about not just winning, but everything we do and how it affects the community, school, practice, games -- all the facets of our program."
A pretty lofty objective I would say, not something too many schools are willing to take on, that's for sure.
And their approach was spot on, coming up with Core Covenants that spanned 4 global and important categories (Commitment, Competitiveness, Selflessness and Confidence), hiring a nationally recognized speaker to inspire their athletes prior to fall, and encouraging each team to take the school-wide covenants a step further by giving them ownership to create their own sports-specific covenants.
Now that's a novel idea right, giving coaches and their athletes control over all types of expected behavior with global guidelines (covenants) for direction. It sure is a lot easier to abide by rules and expectations when YOU become a partner in their creation.
The result; higher levels of performance as shown by this fall season's records and rankings, better attitudes present throughout the school, along with higher levels of morale, enthusiasm, pride, and school spirit - all very good things.
Working from a framework that starts on the inside and works outward not only has benefits for individual athletes, most directly the potential they have within, but most importantly for the school community as a well. Just ask the girls soccer coach from Lakewood High, Jeremiah Wohlgemuth:
The covenants "guided us towards a belief that we're playing for more than just ourselves and individual accomplishments,"..."instead we're playing for each other, our school and our community and family."