February 7, 2012
For most of the histories of most statewide athletic associations across the country, the association has been a third party. That is, the association’s work was with adults - administrators, coaches and officials – who had more direct interaction with student-athletes.
That has been changing for most of these associations over the past two decades.
Today, MHSAA staff work directly with student-athletes through the Farm Bureau Scholar-Athlete program as well as at sportsmanship summits and captains clinics. We partner with the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan to conduct our “Reaching Higher” programs for college-bound male and female players. We have a Student Advisory Council that works with us in our office, at meetings and at tournament venues.
After the Scholar-Athlete program, the oldest of our student-centered programming is the MHSAA Women in Sports Leadership Conference which began in 1989. The 2012 Women in Sports Leadership Conference, which concluded yesterday, addressed a “Leaders Show Up” theme. Three dozen presenters interacted with approximately 500 student attendees.
These direct interactions aid the modern athletic association in staying alert to the needs, desires and “idiosyncrasies” of students, who have always been the subject of the work – just less obviously and effectively than they are today.