Continuing Education

February 17, 2012

Eight MHSAA staff devoted an entire Friday late last month to discussions with a visitor from another statewide high school association. The focus was on what that association was doing, how and why in the areas of electronic media, marketing, merchandising and branding and the dozens of sub-topics these categories spawned.

Two weeks earlier, five MHSAA staff joined staff of ten other similar associations for two days of meetings in Chicago. There was sharing on topics ranging from student leadership programs to information technology.

A few days before that, I joined my counterparts from 45 other states for discussions of a variety of topics important to school sports in general or the administration of our serving organizations. I amassed 13 pages of notes from comments made by speakers and colleagues over three days.

Meanwhile, the MHSAA office hosted 12 MHSAA committee meetings during January. Each committee focused on a particular sport, or on a specific topic that affects all sports. Their recommendations will be vetted this spring and considered by the Representative Council by May.

Ideally, every month presents opportunities for us to learn, but last month provided a particularly broad and deep curriculum.

Cheering for Sportsmanship

July 31, 2018

(This blog first appeared on on January 8, 2013.)

I try to start each new school year at the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association summer camp at Michigan State University. I talk briefly about who the MHSAA is and what it does; and then two or three dozen high school newspaper editors and writers ask me questions; and in doing so, they give me clues to what’s going on in our schools and what’s important to our students.

Several years ago, when I opened the session to questions, one young man asked: “Mr. Roberts, what’s your job?” I paused, and then said, “I guess I’m the head cheerleader for high school sports in Michigan.”

So then this precocious student asked: “Okay, what do you cheer for?”  With a briefer pause, this is some of what I said:

  • I cheer for sportsmanship that’s not merely good, but great.

  • I cheer for sportsmanship, not gamesmanship.

  • I cheer for playing by the rules, both the letter and the spirit.

  • I cheer for maximum effort to try to win each and every contest.

  • I don’t cheer for winning at any cost; I do cheer for learning at every opportunity.

  • I cheer for losing with grace and for winning with even greater grace, with humility and modesty.

  • I cheer for the lessons of victory and the even greater lessons of defeat.