It is not uncommon for high school athletic coaches to focus so much on their sport that they forget they are part of a larger school program. With a weekly newsletter, athletic directors can create a short document that shares the successes and challenges of the department and provides information for coaches about school events and professional development.
Citizenship is a key part of the athletic experience, and one way that coaches can support the growth of citizenship in students is by encouraging them to attend other school athletic and activity events. Both on-campus and off-campus coaches benefit from reminders of what is coming up outside their sport.
Coaches may have a Tuesday game and not even realize they could support the school club that is putting on a fundraising dinner the next day. When students are encouraged to attend other events outside their sport, not only are they sharing how they care for their community, but they may even gather more support for their home games because students support each other when they realize it becomes normal behavior. Also, if there are any particular school activities that administrators want to highlight, this a great opportunity for coaches so they can promote attendance.
For those sports that often get overlooked, newsletters are a great way to draw attention to accomplishments. Maybe the golf or tennis team won a key league contest, or a swim team made the playoffs. These accomplishments can be showcased in a short paragraph that will validate your coaches among their peers.
Professional development is sometimes hard to schedule and may be difficult to finance, but a school newsletter is a perfect opportunity for an athletic director to share best theoretical practices. Whether it is sharing ideas on how to keep an optimistic frame of mind, a growth mindset or even review particular state, section, league or school rules, a few paragraphs of explanation can go a long way in developing coaches.
In addition, in a one- to three-paragraph section on professional development, athletic directors can provide information for all coaches, including junior varsity and freshman, on how to create successful, respected programs in which everyone in the school can take pride.
Dr. Steve Amaro, CMAA, is a teacher, coach and athletic director at Freedom High School in Oakley, California. He is a member of the High School Today Publications Committee.