I am proud to report that Park High School is officially an InSideOut school. What does that mean?

Well, Park has joined approximately 100 schools across the state that are dedicated to further to develop the MSHSL’s “Why We Play” initiative. This initiative is based on the principles in Joe Ehrmann’s book InSideOut Coaching: How Sports Can Transform Lives.

The focus of the book is four questions that every coach must ask themselves: Why do I coach? Why do I coach the way I do? What does it feel like to be coached by me? How do I define success? Answering the first question gives every coach their purpose for coaching.

As an Activities Department, we have also developed our collective purpose: the mission of the Park High School Activities Department is to create learning opportunities for students to develop character, become well-rounded citizens, and achieve excellence in their activities, school, and community.

Coaches may have goals of winning the conference, winning their section or maybe sending an individual to team to state. But those goals are not the same as a purpose.

If we are not intentional about our purpose, then our highest goal will become our purpose. While winning is certainly very important at the high school level, our coaching purpose must be about more than the outcome on the scoreboard.

I am asking our head coaches to share their purpose for coaching with me, their players and parents. If your child plays a sport and you do not know their coach’s purpose, please ask.

Of course, athletic directors will do the same. My purpose as an activities director: I provide leadership and growth opportunities to coaches, directors and advisers so that students can have a positive experience and learn life lessons in competitive and/or educationally-based activities.

Jody Redman from the MSHSL is now traveling the country with Joe Ehrmann and spreading the message of the importance of purpose in educationally-based athletics. They have partnered with the NFL and have delivered the message that was started here in Minnesota to states such as Texas, Ohio, Indiana, and California. My information on their journey can be found here: https://insideoutinitiative.org/ .

What will this look like now that we are part of the InSideOut Team? Every time our coaches get a chance for professional development, we will focus on creating community through belonging, beliefs, and base-community. Our coaches will continue to work hard to build relationships with their student-athletes and hopefully transform their lives through sports.

This message ties in perfectly with the work that CGAA is doing with the Positive Coaching Alliance. We want to build strong athletes and successful teams, but more importantly, we want to build better people.