I recently subscribed to It is a weekly email where it discusses various aspects of teaching principles from the legacy of the legendary basketball coach at UCLA, John Wooden. It got me to thinking of some of the character building principles our Headmaster, Robbie Hinton, has been working on with staff for almost five years now. I find these teachings interesting because they look at different perspectives of the same principles but they look somewhat different each time as we see a new dimension about a phrase or word.

I want to focus on one of the words we discuss a lot: respect. The way we think of respect athletically is how our students treat their teammates, opponents, and officials. I won’t belabor this point because I know you know our expectations regarding this and what is obvious that we should not do. But, what are ways we could show respect that are not the norm, and as believers, be “different to make a difference.”

I read an article earlier this Fall about a high school football game in Alabama. After the game, the cleaning crew would wait until after the crowd cleared to go and clean up the bleachers on both sides. They were shocked when they went to the visitor’s side and it was spotless! The principal called the visiting team and found out why. The other school told him that it was their practice that parents would work together after the game to clean the stands before they left. They felt it showed respect for the other school’s property. And this is a public school!

What would it look like to our opponents if our community cleaned up their section of bleachers at every away game instead of assuming the other school would take care of it? What if at home games the same thing happened but also the players went into the stands to help before going to the locker room (or after)? What does this show our world about how we respect our property, our school, and overall, God’s creation? Do you think others would look at our school and ask the operative question, “why are you doing this?” What an opportunity to show the love of Christ to others!

By the way, I also understand that the fans of the Japanese World Cup team did the same thing at the World Cup! Just something to ponder. That certainly made national news.


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