MSHSAA recently held a summer athletic director’s meeting and the focus was based around three simple words “Why we play.” The reality is wins and losses are the goal, but the true purpose of high school sports is to prepare kids for life, according to MSHSAA executive director Kerwin Urhahn.
97% of all kids who play high school sports are done playing on the next level. Urhahn feels its important to get back to positive relationships and preparing kids for life after high school.
Urhahn is leading the way for MSHSAA and following the path started in Minnesota. Ms. Jody Redman developed a cultural change for the Minnesota High School League based on a foundation of the book Inside Out Coaching, by Joe Ehrmann.
I sat down with Dr. Urhahn as he shares his passion for this new endeavor. Informative for school administrators, parents and students.
WHY DO WE PLAY?
For many in our sports culture there is only one answer to this question—we play to WIN. MSHSAA agrees that there is some value in this answer.
· Do we play so a high school student can develop physical skills, score 1000 points, and get a college scholarship—YES.
· Do we play so a team can win a conference title—YES.
· Do we play so high school students can have the experience of getting to and winning a state championship—YES.
But these reasons are simply not enough, and should not be the sole focus of interscholastic competition. The students participating in our programs need and deserve more. As important as our culture makes winning, scholarships and awards, these types of achievements don’t sustain a student’s life and they don’t develop their human potential. We must redirect our focus!