In his book The Sports Gene, author David Epstein causes the reader to think about athletic performance as software more than hardware; and I believe this is even more important for us to consider in educational athletics.
In school sports, at least in most situations, we still believe that opportunity is for everybody, regardless of gene pool or body type. High school sports teams often have an eclectic mix-and-match look that defies each sport’s stereotype on other levels.
In school sports, coaches don’t select and sculpt the body type as much as welcome what comes to them and work to develop skills to overcome inherent shortcomings.
In school sports, we focus on the software more than the hardware on other levels as well.
We are concerned with character development more than physical development, on principles more than physiques. It’s the operating system we focus on, much more than the hardware.
We also judge success differently – more on intangibles than tangibles, more on heart and mind than trophies and medals.