Raising Expectations for Preparedness

February 15, 2013

Over the next four years we will be exploring for and implementing what we hope are both effective and practical means of raising expectations for coaches preparedness.  Three avenues are on our map at this time:

First, it is proposed that by school year 2014-15, all MHSAA member high schools will be required to certify that all assistant and subvarsity coaches at the high school level complete the same online rules meeting (with health and safety component) that is required of head coaches or they must complete one of the free online sports safety courses posted on or linked to MHSAA.com.

Second, it is proposed that by 2015-16, MHSAA member high schools will be required to certify that all of their varsity head coaches have a valid CPR certification prior to their second year of coaching at any MHSAA member school.

Third, it is proposed that by 2016-17, all varsity head coaches of MHSAA member high school teams have completed either Level 1 or Level 2 of the MHSAA Coaches Advancement Program prior to their third year of coaching at any MHSAA member high school.  The MHSAA is preparing to subsidize some of the course cost for every coach who completes Level 1 or 2.

Together, these changes will move Michigan from one of the states of fewest coaching requirements to a position consistent with the “best practices” for minimizing risk in school sports and providing students a healthy experience.

 The MHSAA Representative Council has not yet scheduled a vote on these proposals.

Cheering for Sportsmanship

July 31, 2018

(This blog first appeared on MHSAA.com 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.