In Borrowing Brilliance, author David Kord Murray suggests that some of the brightest, most creative ideas emerge by doing the opposite of what your closest competition is doing.

So when I see school sports in some ways adopting over-hyped and commercialized traits of major college and professional sports or in more ways drifting toward behaviors of non-school youth sports, I sense an absence of creative thinking and doing by the folks in charge.

This wouldn’t worry me if I didn’t foresee that when school sports become too much like non-school sports, folks will begin to earnestly question why schools are spending severely limited time and money duplicating non-school programs.

Which will cause schools to drop those programs – first at subvarsity levels, as is already occurring, and then at all levels.

Which will cause schools to lose what has been well documented to be a great motivator for improving student attendance and grade-point averages and reducing student discipline problems and dropout rates.

It is almost to the point where if I see non-school sports do one thing, I recommend school programs do the opposite.

  • Make athletes pay to play?
    • Schools should do the opposite!
  • Make athletes transport themselves to events?
    • Schools should do the opposite!
  • Schedule lots of games and little practice?
    • Schools should do the opposite!
  • Schedule long-distance travel and national-scope events?
    • Schools should do the opposite!
  • Focus on individuals more than teams?
    • Schools should do the opposite!

In anything and almost everything, in large matters or small, schools should tend toward the opposite of what they observe in much of non-school sports. It will likely be better for the student-athletes and tend to preserve the niche school sports has long enjoyed in the world of sports.

Posted in: Perspective


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From the Director

From the Director is the official MHSAA Blog which will touch on pertinent school sports topics periodically throughout the school year from various MHSAA Staff.