PHILOSOPHY OF INTERSCHOLASTIC ATHLETICS
By John Bagonzi
I feel that one of the great outcomes and surely, one of the major purposes of interscholastic athletic programs is to prepare young men and women for the realities of life
The successes and failures that happen in an athletic contest parallel eminently the rigors of the real world. When young athletes experience the reward of preparation, the adjustment to disaster and turmoil, and the application of tenacity toward goals -- they are ultimately getting ready for the years ahead whether they be in athletics or not.
I revel in watching athletes that have played for me go through their remarkable careers, and gain the great success and satisfaction from their work, because they remain attentive and focused in their profession. Undoubtedly, these are probable outgrowths of athletic competition.
Adhering to strict scholastic standards and maintaining excellence in the classroom has always been a mandate of mine. The athletic courts and fields are the great laboratories of life No where can the hardships of life be more defined, then when competing. The ability to subject ego to the team purposes and goals is a prime directive with most coaches. This looks like it is difficult in today's world. However, I feel that is the essence of the directive and must be implemented and enforced.
True accomplishment in athletics is rarely coincidental. Most major successes are due to a very concentrated detailed approach. Surely, sustained achievements are very much the result of a planned program in which the planners employed a totally positive pursuit mechanism. Elimination of negatives is an art form. The removal of all hidden loose ends is a science in itself. Mastery of oneself not only from a standpoint of training, but in being proficient in the details of the skill is one of the prime absolutes.
Athletics are beautiful and fulfilling -- no where can the characteristics of one's true identity be more
The great moment in athletics occurs some time after, when participants reminisce about their good times. We are in a position to create so many positive values, that as coaches we often miss the "MAGIC MOMENT," when the elimination of useless negatives often times creates the golden moment of learning and achievement.
I love to watch my former athletes walk proud, not cocky-- but sure of themselves and satisfied that they are using their talents in their various careers. Many times they have told me that they still use concepts today that were learned and stressed in their high school athletic careers.
Athletics is a beautiful world and certainly a vehicle for great positive traits and great learning moments. For the most part, athletics enhances a students awareness and sensitizes his coping skills for real life situations. Most athletes cope in the real world rather well. They are rarely afraid of work. They are aware that nothing happens because someone says so. Statements are simple -- doing them is the measure. Making all time purposeful and efficient, even short, is THE criterion. The need to reapply one self to goals is absolute, and not losing the "EDGE" that is necessary for ultimate achievement is the denominator.
We can instill pride of excellence, humility, cooperation, dedication, ability to function under duress, willingness to finish off a project and to walk tall and offend no one, then I think we have succeeded in fulfilling the promise of interscholastic athletics.