The organization I worked for immediately prior to this 29-year run with the MHSAA utilized “harnessed hero worship” as its principal strategy for evangelism. It was generally effective; but because of human frailties, some of the heroes would disappoint us and disrupt the important work.

This experience and others over the years have caused me to, at most, only feign excitement when someone suggests we get this or that “Big Name” to keynote a conference or endorse an initiative. I prefer substance over style, and staying power over shooting stars.

All of this likely made me susceptible to shouting “Right On” when I read the May 14, 2015 blog post of Matt Amaral, a teacher in California. The title: “Dear Steph Curry, Now That You Are MVP, Please Don’t Come Visit My High School.”

Regarding celebrity worship, Mr. Amaral writes that we need less of it.

“Coming to poor high schools like mine isn’t going to help any of these kids out, in fact, it might make things worse.”

Amaral explains that unlike Curry (who is an example and not a target), the students he teaches are not genetic giants and do not have the resources and support that separate the less than one percent from the rest of us. “What you won’t see,” Amaral writes in his “open letter” to Curry, “is the fact that most of these kids don’t have a back-up plan for their dream of being you.”

“They are already very good at dreaming about being rich and famous, what we need them to do is get a little more realistic about what is in their control. We need less of an emphasis on sports and celebrity in high school, because it is hurting these kids too much as it is.”

(You can find more of Mr. Amaral’s provocative thoughts at teach4real.com.)

Posted in: Perspective


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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.