03

Comfort Zones

Fifty-two weeks ago I began doing what none of my colleagues across the country is doing:  posting a blog twice a week, every week.  Frankly, some of my 49 counterparts think I’m nuts.

But because writing comes easily for me on most days and it usually helps me to think more clearly and better develop and define my points of view, I don’t find that this regular responsibility is a burden.  It’s actually more of a blessing.

Most of the time, that is.

Most of the time I’ve struck a chord that has resonated positively with our core constituents.

Every once in awhile, however, I hit a raw nerve and was treated with rants or ramblings from followers of school sports, whether they be parents, fans or a combination of the two. And, that’s OK; when opining from this site, the doors are open to contrary views in addition to supporters of the cause. In fact, the more controversial subjects could well be the most successful blog entries.

Administrators, keep the nature of blogs in mind as another school year dawns: when opening the gates to your events, you open them to all, not just your supporters. Some of the critics are certain they know what everybody else should do, from local school coach or administrator, to the MHSAA, MSU, NCAA and NBA.  They purport to have expertise for modifying rules, restructuring tournaments, reclassifying schools, seeding brackets and ranking players.  Most of these people have the luxury of answering to no one, so they can advance their ideas without a foundation of facts or a consensus among those who have the responsibility for passing the policies, raising the revenues and controlling the costs of a well-balanced sports program that is compatible with the educational mission of schools. But, invite them, for they have a passion for school sports too. 

In this little corner of the MHSAA.com, we usually can anticipate when we are raising a topic that may raise the ire of some people.  It can happen when we are simply nudging folks out of their comfort zones to think a bit differently about an issue; but we think it’s important we step out of our own comfort zones and risk taking some criticism over those topics from time to time.

As I begin year two of twice weekly blogs, we will continue to invite comments, pro and con, from both those who do and don’t have roles and responsibilities in school sports.  We’ll post those comments that are in good taste, brief, and limited to the specific topic of the blog.  Even those comments that do not meet these criteria will be read by MHSAA staff to add to our knowledge base for future work on behalf of school-sponsored sports.

Posted in: Perspective

Comments

Hugh Matson
Tuesday, August 3, 2010 8:19 AM
I enjoy reading your blogs, and I commend you for writing them. Talking about the issues and dealing with them makes the MHSAA one of the best in the nation.

Matt Lehman
Tuesday, August 3, 2010 9:21 AM
Michigan is very fortunate to have Jack Roberts as the director of MHSAA.

Sharla Stokes
Tuesday, August 3, 2010 8:33 PM
I truly enjoyed this blog in particular. Honest and direct as always. So many sides to every issue and the MHSAA has always been open to fair and valid suggestions.

Thursday, August 5, 2010 3:41 AM
Great post I must say.. Simple but yet entertaining and engaging.. Keep up the good work!

James Fish
Saturday, August 7, 2010 2:42 PM
The MHSAA is a leader in preserving the very essence of what high school sports should be all about. Jack Roberts, as the leader of the organization, has done an outstanding job of promoting the value of educational athletics. Maybe that is why athletic participation in member schools continues to thrive while student enrollment decreases. I commend all of the MHSAA Directors on a job well done!

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From the Director

From the Director is the official MHSAA Blog which will touch on pertinent school sports topics periodically throughout the school year from various MHSAA Staff.