After I became an Athletic Administrator, I realized how little respect teachers/coaches get. Teaching/coaching is the toughest job everyone who has never done it thinks they can do. I admit, I was guilty of these delusions myself. When I decided to make the switch from “playing” sports to “teaching/coaching/leading” sports, I found out that I had to go back to class to get some additional certifications.
I was baffled. How could I, with my twenty years of experience teaching/coaching not be well qualified to teach/coach? And so, I begrudgingly enrolled in NIAAA Leadership Training Courses and the NFHS Fundamentals of Coaching Certification program.
And boy, were my eyes opened! Teaching/coaching isn’t just “making it fun” for the kids. Teaching/coaching is getting a teenager to accomplish something that he/she did not believe they could do, and it’s about using teachable moments to prepare our student-athletes for the fifth quarter life lessons they will encounter after athletics.
Teaching/coaching is simultaneously instilling in a student-athlete the belief that he/she can accomplish anything they put their mind to if they are willing to work. Teaching/coaching is convincing a defiant teenager that the work he sees no value in does serve a greater purpose in preparing him for the most important game, the game called life.
Teaching/coaching is offering a sympathetic ear while maintaining a stern voice and personal accountability. Listening first to understand, and then to be understood.
Teaching/coaching is being both a role model and a mentor to someone who may have neither at home, and may not be looking for either. We do not get to choose if we are their role model. They choose us.
Teaching/coaching is not easy. It takes hard work and constant lifelong training. Yet, people have delusions that anyone can do what the typical teacher/coach does every day.
Maybe the problem is tangibility. Throwing a football isn’t easy, but it’s easy to measure how good someone is at throwing a football. How do you measure the inspiration or influence you have on student-athletes? It has been said that it takes 20 years to find out if a teacher/coach has had a positive influence on their athletes. What do they become because of your influence? The people that will make a positive difference are the ones who care.
Teachers/coaches work very hard every day with student-athletes to remind them that we are in this together. In our complex, competitive, undue influencing and ever changing world there is simply no room for competing with one another internally. A house divided against itself cannot stand or pursue excellence. Nor can it be outstanding. We’re all on the same team competing against our own potential every day.
To achieve, we have to “Believe”. To improve our chances of success, let’s everyone accept our roles and be as good as we can be in that role. If players play, coaches coach, fans support the program (coaches, players, cheerleaders, etc.) unconditionally and officials officiate, then we have a great event and we have an opportunity for success. But when fans officiate and coach, or coaches officiate, then we potentially have a challenging situation. The reality in today's game is that negative things will happen and, as always ... it is not what happens to you that determines your fate ... it is how you handle the things happening to you that will ultimately determine future success or failure.
The Eagle family has always responded to a challenge and our current position is not new to our fan base. Let’s seize this opportunity to move our athletic program forward by exhibiting a positive attitude (an inward feeling expressed by behavior) and faith in a positive future. People may hear your words, but they will be able to feel your attitude. The Eagle Pride and Passion exhibited by the Garnet and Gold Screaming Eagles may just be the needed ingredient to inspire our team and coaches to more great performances.
Learn the Routine
Every team's fans have a way of going about cheering. There are certain cheers and chants you need to know in order to successfully support your team, including the "Fight Song" and the "Alma Mater
If you’re at a Football game, you better be screaming on the opposite team's 3rd or 4th down! If you’re at another event and the Screaming Eagles need some energy or encouragement, turn up the volume. If you're not on the edge of passing out blue in the face then you're not doing enough, Period.
Proudly Wear Your Team's Colors (Win or Lose)
Fair-weather fans are a dime a dozen. Being a fan, win or loss, is what true support is. Even if your team just lost the most horrible last second upset in the world, nothing spits in the eyes of your opponents like sporting your team colors proudly the next day. You’ve always got to remember, it’s never as good as it seems and it’s never as bad as it seems, so buck up and take it like a fan.
Let’s create a game day atmosphere that is second to none and one that emulates Eagle Pride and Respect.
Always show and model Eagle’s Respect:
- Respect the opponents, officials and visiting fans (no taunting, booing, heckling, etc)
- Never use profanity, make racial or ethnic comments
- Respect the decisions made by contest and school officials
- Recognize and acknowledge outstanding performances by athletes of both teams
Go Screaming Eagles!
Roy Turner, CMAA, AIC