Local Coaches Stress Character at Super Bowl Event
Even at the high school level, there is a win-at-all-costs mindset these days. Some local coaches, however, want to change that. On Tuesday in Minneapolis, there was a Super Bowl-related event where the goal was to create character for student athletes.
“Tell me about his character?” said Cooper High football coach Willie Howard at the event. “Tell me what kind of kid I am going to have come into my institution? Can they make us a better school? Not a football program, but a school?”
The event included athletic directors and coaches from across Minnesota. In a culture obsessed with winning, those CCX News spoke with say the $15 billion youth sports industry has fostered unrealistic expectations. Some believe it is out of control.
“The value about of what sport is, is no longer about students,” said Jody Redman of the Minnesota State High School League. “It’s about how we can have professional careers and make a living and have all of that success and national tournaments.”
For coaches like Howard, it’s about developing the person that matters most with sports.
“Even the greatest like a Kobe Bryant, at some point the sport is going to end,” Howard said. “If you don’t build up the characteristics for these young men and women early on, it’s going to be hard for them to flip on the light switch and say now I got to be a man of integrity.”
In most cases chasing athletic dreams is fool’s gold. Only one percent of prep athletes make the pros and less than three percent play college sports.
“That means 97 percent of our kids are going to have a terminal experience,” Redman said. “When they graduate from high school their playing days are pretty much over.”
The seminar is a byproduct of Super Bowl LII. The NFL’s goal is to leave behind a positive legacy in the Twin Cities with events like this.