When lists are compiled of the benefits of participation in school sports, almost always included is that sports provide practical, real-life leadership lessons for many participants.  Can we be sure about that?

A long look back at the history of sport in America identifies this same trend on all levels of sports:  fewer decisions are being made by the players on the field or court, and more decisions are being made by coaches on the sidelines or in the press boxes.  This is inevitable, given the advancements in technology for scouting, breaking down “film” and communication during games.  But does it undermine some opportunities for leadership lessons through sports?

To undercut the perhaps unavoidable trend toward lost leadership opportunities, the MHSAA has been increasing its athletic-oriented student leadership programs.  For example:

  • The statewide Women in Sports Leadership Conference, since 1989 and now conducted every other year, with WISL mini-grants to support local programs in the “off” years.
  • Twenty Team Captains Clinics, in partnership with leagues and conferences, since 2005, as well as mini-grants to support even more local student leadership initiatives.

Now a Team Captain’s Guide has been published by the MHSAA.  The booklet is a project of the MHSAA Student Advisory Council and is being distributed in quantities to all member schools free of charge.  The project has generous support from the Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association and the Michigan High School Coaches Association.  Click here for the announcement and further information.

For more information, visit the Training and Education pages of MHSAA.com.  Another good resource for promoting and nurturing student-athlete leadership is highschoolsportsleader.com.


Posted in: Student Services


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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.