Designed and Delivered

March 8, 2016

The benefits of school sports do not occur by accident. They occur by design and by delivery.

It is the design of policies and procedures to keep the program student-focused, school-centered, sensible in scope, safe, sane and sportsmanlike. All core values of educational athletics.

The value is also enhanced by the delivery system – the quality of coaching and expertise of administration.

  • Just as the teacher is the key to learning in the academic classroom, the coach is the key to learning on the athletic team. This is why the MHSAA has designed and delivers a face-to-face, multi-level coaching education program anytime, anywhere in Michigan.

  • The other key of the delivery system is the local school athletic administrator with a skill set that meets the complex demands of a program that operates in an arena of high emotion and risk of injury. This is why Michigan often leads the nation in the number of high school athletic directors who have completed the highest level of training and certification of the National Interscholastic Athletics Administrators Association, and why the Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association and the MHSAA devote so much time and attention to initial and ongoing athletic director training.

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.