By Karissa Niehoff, NFHS Executive Director
and Mark Uyl, MHSAA Executive Director
We communicate on smart phones, drive smart cars, make purchases using smart cards and even drink smart water. But, really, how smart are we?
Between college admission and internet privacy scandals, sexual misconduct investigations, stolen trade secrets and the growing concern about how we communicate and connect with each other, technology seems to be outpacing our capacity to understand the most responsible way to use it.
In other words, how are tomorrow’s leaders being prepared to make decisions that provide the perspective, balance and strength of character that today’s advanced world needs?
The answer is by participating in high school sports like the ones offered by the high schools in Michigan.
Most researchers agree that leaders are made, not born, through relationships with others. Human interaction and life experiences enable young men and women to develop leadership characteristics such as trust, mutual respect, integrity and accountability. These are the same values that are learned as a result of playing on a high school sports team.
And while club sports often have only a singular focus (the participant’s athletic abilities), research documents that high school sports programs have an unparalleled positive effect on the physical, academic and emotional growth of teens, including a more mature level of character development.
In other words, high school sports have a more profound role to play in society today than you may realize.
The high school sports and activity programs in Michigan—including music, speech, theatre and debate—typically account for only about 1 to 3 percent of a school’s overall budget, making them one of the wisest investments your community makes. You can help by attending as many games and events as possible, donating to the booster club and volunteering to work in the concession stand.
Most of all, encourage your children to participate in as many sports and activities as they can. Because when they do, they will be joining a new generation of leaders who are both technologically smart and ethically responsible.
And that’s exactly the kind of leadership our hyper-intelligent world needs.
The Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) is one of 51 members of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).
This week's edition highlights the MHSAA Girls Volleyball, 8-Player Football and Lower Peninsula Girls Swimming & Diving Finals.
"This Week in High School Sports" is powered by MI Student Aid, a part of the Office of Postsecondary Financial Planning located within the Michigan Department of Treasury.
Listen to this week's show by Clicking Here.
Nov. 15: Football record breakers, 2022-23 MHSAA postseason attendance - Listen
Nov. 8: MHSAA Boys Soccer, Lower Peninsula Cross Country Finals reviews - Listen
Nov. 1: MHSAA Girls Volleyball Tournament schedule, Football Playoffs first-round review - Listen
Oct. 26: Lower Peninsula Girls Golf Finals, Boys Tennis Finals review - Listen
Oct. 18: MHSAA Football Playoff selection, Bear Lake football coach Sam Mullet - Listen
Oct. 11: Upper Peninsula soccer, MHSAA sports participation excels nationally - Listen
Oct. 4: Jackson Lumen Christi's Herb Brogan, MHSAA Sportsmanship Summits - Listen
Sept. 24: All-woman football officiating crew, Powers North Central's record winning streak ends - Listen
Sept. 21: 35th MHSAA/Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete Awards, Grass Lake QB Brayden Lape - Listen
Sept. 14: Athletic director education, MHSAA video library - Listen
Sept. 7: Adjustments to 11-player football, boys soccer Finals schedules - Listen
Aug. 31: New out-of-state opponents rules, football record book updates - Listen
Aug. 24: MHSAA.com coverage ramps up, "Made in Michigan" tells us where they are now - Listen