Strategies Table of Contents
Ways Sport Coaches Can Fit In With the Faculty
Dennis M. Docheff
Many people find it difficult to find a niche within their work place or to feel like they fit in. Fitting in can be difficult for some sport coaches too, especially when they are new to the school building. Some teachers have a perception that sport coaches are there to play sports and win games only, and that they are not overly concerned about the academic performance of their athletes. When push comes to shove, it is difficult for some coaches to fit in with noncoaching faculty. Sport coaches may need a plan for fitting in with the rest of the faculty and staff at a school. This plan must be purposeful and specific; coaches must do as much as possible to endear themselves to other faculty and staff. The goal is to win over everyone, from the custodian to the cafeteria worker, the secretary to the librarian, and the administrator to the hardened teacher. This article provides 10 ideas coaches can use to fit in with the rest of the school staff. It is hoped that each idea will serve as a springboard to even more ideas. Readers are encouraged to consider these ideas with their specific teaching/coaching situations in mind and adapt them in a way that works for them.
1. Celebrate Academics
First, coaches must find a way to celebrate academics. There are numerous ways for coaches to promote academic performance. One way is to create a Coach’s Honor Roll. When creating an honor roll, it is important to make it meaningful for all athletes, not just the high academic achievers. For instance, a coach may tabulate a list of students with a grade point average (GPA) of 3.1 and above, but it is also important to have a coach’s honor list for the students with GPAs ranging from 2.5 to 3.09 and 2.0 to 2.49. Some students may never make any other kind of honor roll. The sport coach
can make the honor roll important for these lower academic achievers by encouraging them to work hard to reach that 2.0 or 2.5 GPA. Typically, classroom teachers appreciate the fact that the coach wants all athletes to perform well academically — “All Athletes Are Academics” may be a nice slogan for a coach’s “4A Club.”
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