The Program Goals of High School Athletics
It is easy to lose sight of the proper program goals of any activity while we navigate the seas of pleasure, stoke the fires of competition, and respond to the voices of ambition.
Upon reflection, it seems clear that the proper goals of interscholastic high school athletics are four:
- Healthy Exercise
- Character Development
- Competitive Achievement
All four are important. Each presents its challenges. Balancing them successfully is a project that involves every member of the team – coach, captains, players, managers, and trainers.
If you want to commit to becoming the best squash player you can between now and next season you will:
- Join the USSRA and the MSRA
- Subscribe to Squash Magazine
- Get Lessons
- Practice 3-5 times a week, solo for 45 minutes per session
- Go to Squash Camp(s)
- Play Tournaments
- Visit www.squashtalk.com often for news, videos, information on camps, clubs, tournaments, etc.
An online search for “squash” will get you to the sites you need.
DESERVE TO WIN:
WIN WITH GRACE, LOSE WITH DIGNITY, AND HAVE FUN
Winning is not completely in your control. Your opponent may outplay you. Your opponent, the officials, or the fans may intentionally or unintentionally produce a set of unfair circumstances that affect the result. But winning is not the central purpose of school sports. Learning how to deserve to win is.
The “Deserve to Win” standard is a high one, but part of the beauty of it lies in the fact that living up to it is completely within your control. The standard expressed negatively and applied to squash amounts to the following:
You didn’t deserve to win if…
- you cheated.
- you showed a lack of respect for yourself, your opponent, your teammates, your school, or the game of squash by:
- gloating or showing off
- being a poor loser
- arguing with the officials
- being uncoachable or failing to attend to your coaching responsibilities
- contributing to or tolerating poor fan behavior
- you lost your temper in a way that showed in your behavior or affected your ability to focus on playing well
- you made less than a full effort to play your best throughout the match
- you made less than a full effort to stay eligible to compete and to come prepared to play well by
- not following all school rules and training guidelines
- not consistently practicing and training hard given the goals you have set
- not maintaining healthy patterns of sleeping and eating
- not working with the trainers to treat and assess injuries
- not making sure you came with all the necessary equipment – water bottle, extra racquet, etc.
- you made less than a full effort to know and apply the rules of squash when playing or officiating
- you failed to thank your opponent and the officials
- you didn’t make every effort to have fun and to make the match as enjoyable as possible for all concerned.
If you met all the positive standards implicit in 1-8, then you not only deserved to win, but you have earned the right to the respect and admiration of all right thinking people.