In Pursuit of Excellence



The purpose of this email is to bring you information that will hopefully motivate, inspire, and encourage you. It also serves to remind you of our vision and mission as well as where I believe we are at this point. This is not an email where I will include operational notices or details. Those will come in separate emails from me or Chris Cathey. This is more about the “why” rather than the “what.” The school is launching a new three-year strategic plan called, “1000 Days to Strategic Intentionality.” We are doing the same with some of our new standards, assessments, and changes in how we work.

Obviously doing tryouts in May is taking for fall what once was a three-month season and turning it into a five-month season. That is why you are getting this starting this week. This gives us plenty of time to explore a host of topics. The focus this week is taking a deeper dive on our athletic handbook. We may take a few weeks to go through this. It has been updated somewhat so I have included it here for you.

The title of the handbook says “In Pursuit of Excellence.” You will see many changes in this handbook. The biggest change is our focus on raising standards for students and also our work as coaches. Students and parents by and large do what we allow and what we expect. The new standards will create a greater sense of commitment which will give them a sense of fulfillment in being on the team. We have had some good teams here, but they have been carried by one or two really good players. My hope is that in standardizing certain expectations our floor will be lifted which will be our next step toward excellence.

Our first step is early tryouts/evaluations. I think this will be a big step to show our students that we are taking this more seriously. Getting an evaluation at the end of this period shows them that we are pursuing them and know where they are and where they need to grow. Our two-month pre-season ramp-up (summer for fall season) shows them that we are getting a head start on skills, team building, and conditioning. Taking attendance each day gives us more data. And then comes the conditioning requirement to play in a competition. That shows them that we are serious about them being a fit athlete ready to work on team tactics and strategies when we start the season. One of the keys is the data we will begin to collect. We will know what our families value and how serious they want us to pursue excellence.

Don’t be surprised if the initial commitment this summer is major or minor. It takes time to change a culture. As a matter of fact this movement toward standards and data driven assessments will grow either incrementally or exponentially. In either case we will stay the course over the three years with adjustments to our methods. Your willingness to stay the course and provide feedback is crucial to this plan.

What this process will do is to show our community that we are committed to the aspect of our mission to provide “a competitive program of excellence.” This new process will increase our students’ mindset of “competing.” I know some of you feel the same as we have discussed this before. Let’s focus a lot this season on teaching them how to compete.

We will get deeper into the handbook next week. Lots to do, but what an exciting growth journey we get to go on together.

Looking forward to May 22nd and 23rd!


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