Sundays

Sunday…the day I look forward to most.  I’m almost certain that everyone in this class lives a very hectic/busy lifestyle and looks forward to that day off.  I spend most of my weekends on the road, in a hotel and in a gym all day ( life of a wrestling coach)  WIth that said, when I get home late Saturday night/early Sunday morning…I don’t want to do anything but relax and lay on the couch.  I’m a huge NFL fan, therefore, Sunday becomes more of a reason for me to relax and regroup to get ready for the next week ahead. So, I spend my typical Sunday watching football, laying on the couch, catch up on some laundry, make my weekly contacts to friends/family from out of the area and my traditional Sunday routine…I always get a workout in on Sunday night.  Tonight, however, might be different because my 49ers (yes, huge 49ers fan) play the Patriots in what will be a BIG game as it’s America’s game of the week!   I think everyone needs a day of rest and time to regroup! What day do you look forward to most and what do you do with it?

Winning or Preparing for Future Success

As a coach I know that winning is definitely on my mind 75% of the time especially because we compete against Division I and Division II schools where everyone’s goal is to win. I do stress the importance of being involved on campus, building a resume, attending job fairs, networking and above all getting good grades.

Whitewater we have made quit a name for ourselves in athletics especially in the last five years. Last year alone, there were five national championships and Whitewater finished in sixth place for the Director’s Cup standings. The student athletes held a high GPA than the student body. Do you think that Whitewater is about winning or preparing their athletes for future success off the field or both?

Do you feel like you’ve lived this day a hundred times before?

Being a Senior this year one could say i’ve had the senior goggles on.  Thinking about how long ago it was that I was a little freshman.  Thinking about the next step.  Thinking about how awesome esker was the first time I ever had it lol.  Ahh so young and naive.  Being a Senior really makes you realize how fast time can fly so you better not blink or you might miss it.  How it’s important to not get lost into routines.  A saying I heard recently, I think it was a Conan interview and he was talking about how he gets very upset and crazy if he thinks he didn’t have a good night of joke telling.  Some of the best advice he was given that don’t look at this day good or this day as bad but look at as each day is a puzzle piece, and not every piece is exciting and colorful, you need some dull ones in there too.  These pieces make up the overall puzzle or in the metaphor you as a person.  I think the overall message is that  you need to try hard to make each day important and special but that you need to be able to accept those that aren’t.

Having a child

I am about at the point in my life were I am starting to think about having children. My wife and I have been married for almost 2 years now and we are both 26, so I figure we are about at the right time in our life to think about starting a family. I decided to do some research. What I found was very scary to me! You look at the sky high rate of autism among children today. The fact that there is a 30-40% chance of having a miscarriage. The literally thousands of physical and mental disabilities that are on the rise among children today. It made me start to think, “why are all these disorders on the rise?” Is it because of over diagnosis of certain disorders? Is it because of the huge proportion of GMO and highly processed foods we eat? I wish I knew the exact answer to the questions but it does beg the question “is science hurting us when is comes to the food we eat?”

Connecticut Elementary School Shooting

The Connecticut elementary school shooting is simply horrific.  It is so scary to think this could happen at any school at anytime.  I actually used to live about 30 minutes from the site of the shooting.  It got me thinking about quite a few things, some controversial, some sad, some just thought provoking.

1.  Do you think the identities of the victims should be released to the public?

I just don’t feel that the identities of the children need to be released and published to the public.  It must be totally devastating to the families and I can’t imagine having to see my child’s name on the news channel.

2.  Does it make you scared to be in your school?  Do you think the children are going to be scared?  Is it going to impact your daily lives at school?

Does it scare me? Yes.  Am I concerned for the safety of my daughter? Yes, but I am always concerned for the safety of my child.  Anything could happen at anytime, whether it be at school or in the grocery store.  My job is to protect my daughter to the best of my ability but allow her to live her life.

3.  Did this happen because the shooter has access to guns?

I don’t feel it is a matter of the shooter having access to guns.  He was a mentally ill person and that is what caused the shooting not the weapon.

4.  What do you tell your students/children?

I reinforced to my daughter that this was a random act and that she is safe.  I also explained to her that this was a sick individual but that there are a lot more helpful people in this world.  There are many people who are “good” and willing to help in a time of need and to focus on those people.

It just makes me sick for those families and friends of the ones killed.  I am so thankful to have my daughter with me each day, in the same school, and knowing she is safe.

Athlete Success: Hard Work, Teamwork, Goals

Ever since I was little and swung at the ball on the tee, I knew athletics would be an important part of my life. Since then I have tried the many different sports only to fall in love with one of them, running. From the moment I stepped on the track, I knew running was for me. Since then I have learned that being involved in a sport, and more importantly being part of a team, has been the single most influential event of my life. Cross country and track has taught me important life lessons about success, disappointment, struggle, and most importantly has taught me the values I choose to live my life by. None of these lessons would have been learned without the guidance of my coaches along the way. In the following paragraphs I will discuss my personal coaching philosophy, the philosophy of coaches I personally know and their relation to my philosophy, and how my philosophy addresses and follows the National Association of Sport and Physical Education Coaching Standards (NASPE) and Wisconsin Coaching Standards (WCS).

As a coach my goal for leading a team is rather simple. It is all based on success. This word has a very different meaning for every person. The definition of success is helping athletes to set a goal no matter how small or large, and accomplishing it. For example finishing top 50 in a race, or winning the race. The definition of success is also guiding the athlete to their maximum potential. A priority as a coach is to build opportunities for the athlete to improve and perform, while at the same time learning to accept wins and losses. I want my athletes to know that as short term as a sport can be; one can also learn life lessons for the long term. The team will be guided by this philosophy. Practices, games, and discussions will build these opportunities. The team will understand how to get back up after they lose, as well as the importance of putting in hard work to achieve a goal, and enjoying the successes of dedication. As a future coach I look forward to as many of the same aspects of any game as the athlete does. I enjoy the satisfaction of improvement, and knowing the athlete came to practice better than they were the day before. I look forward to giving back my own personal stories and knowledge to my hometown community or other communities because I feel they are worth sharing, and will help create a better team. And most importantly I look forward to continuing my love for running, and building opportunities to share it with future athletes.

The philosophy I believe has been partially based off two coaches that I respect and admire. The coach that has had the most impact on me was my high school cross country coach, Michael Bubolz.  He attended Carthage College where he was one of the top runners on the cross country team. After graduation he started coaching at Reedsville High School in 2008 where he is currently still coaching. His philosophy and expectations of the team were clear and simple. Through this philosophy athletes will be successful inside and outside of their sport. “Coaches are role models assisting athletes in developing positive self-esteem and nurturing core values that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. Working towards a common goal with athletes and coaches instills the concepts of teamwork, and will assist athletes in understanding the patience of putting in work today for the goal tomorrow. It is an opportunity to teach athletes that they should do the best they can with what they have, because not everyone can be a champion but everyone can be successful.” This is a short philosophy but an important one. Values such as hard work, goal setting, teamwork, and a positive attitude are essential in the making of a good athlete.

A student assistant coach for the Mauston Cross Country team and fellow teammate of mine here at Whitewater who shares my views on coaching said, “Sporting events can influence the way you live your life temporarily, but coaches help create opportunities to change it forever,” She goes on to state why she feels coaches have such an impact, “This is why I became a coach, to give athlete’s young and old the opportunity to become the best possible person they can be, whether that is in the classroom, on the field, or in the workplace. Lessons you learn in athletics can prepare you for the rest of your life.” I completely agree with this statement. The memories that stand out the most for me came from sports and advice coaches have given me that went above and beyond the sport. They gave me guidance and advice on many other topics than just how to run the perfect race. This inspires me to be more than just a coach to my athletes, but a mentor and friend as well. This takes excellent communication and listening skills which a coach must possess.

In order to be an efficient coach there are some standards all coaches must strive to meet. The first standard set by the NASPE is Develop and implement an athlete-centered coaching philosophy. This standard requires that coaches have a philosophy that is centered around the athlete and on organizational mission and goals. This standard also encourages the coach’s philosophy to be in verbal and written forms to athletes, parents and program staff so everyone is clear on the goals and objectives of the program. Another part of this standard also involves managing athlete behavior that is consistent with the philosophy. My coaching philosophy complies with this standard by putting the athlete first. Having a clear meeting at the beginning of each season and whenever necessary during the season with athletes and parents will make sure that the philosophy is understood. The second standard of the NASPE is Identify, model, and teach positive values learned through sport participation. This standard states that a coach plays a key role in teaching and demonstrating the positive values gained through participating in the sport. The standard also encourages the structure of opportunities for development of values in the sport and outside as well. In order to meet this standard I will share personal stories and own experiences of success and failure in the sport. Also emphasis that winning is an important goal of positive sport experience but losing is also important because it provides the ability to grow and improve and learn from the experience. Other values that I feel are important to learn is respecting others who are different or diverse, and emphasizing positive character traits.

Wisconsin also has standards coaches must meet. Standard 1 is: Coaches know the subjects they are coaching. This means that the coach should understand what levels their athletes are able to perform mentally and physically. This also includes what types and style of disciplines would be appropriate for their age level. In order to be properly educated on what would be appropriate I would do some research on the level I would be coaching. Also talking to other coaches whose athletes are the same age would be helpful as well. The second standard I will address is Standard 9: Coaches are able to evaluate themselves. This is a very important because a good coach should recognize what they are doing right and what they are doing wrong and adjust their coaching technique and style accordingly. I feel this would be something I would be doing often to figure out the best way for the athletes to have the positivist experience. These are the steps I would take to ensure these standards are met.

I will be a great coach because I am eager to guide, and to encourage athletes to find success in the goals that they set for themselves. Whether it is a beginning runner finishing their first run without walking, or the state champ runner, I will encourage them to strive for their goal no matter what it may be. I will be a great coach because I can communicate with others to build the best possible experience to coach my athletes the best possible way. I am energetic and excited to continue my love for sports, and excited to pass on my love of running so many others can experience the positive change it brought to all aspects of my life.

Elementary Physical Education

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to be able to partake in a district wide sharing session across a variety of disciplines that included Physical Education, Art, Music, and all of the traiditonal disciplines that you see in an elementary school setting.

When, the meeting began many of my colleagues, whom I partake in extracurricular activities with outside of work, were very curious why Physical Education teachers were invited to such a workshop, which caused me a great deal of concern and anger.  This just goes to show how little that some people, even other educators, value Physical Education and activity, let alone colleagues of mine who I see and work with hand in hand on a daily basis. It makes me wonder what other people who are not in education, think about Physical Education.

When I spoke to my colleageus and suggested the idea that I was there to learn the same teaching strategies as they were, and that I was there to learn from them and to help them so I can begin teaching their disciplines in my classroom, one older teacher asked why I would even bother…because she wouldnt teach PE in her classroom.

Which makes me wonder…what has educaiton come to?

Crossfit: Hype or Not?!

What is crossfit? Check this out…

As an avid weight lifter and someone that is always looking for something new in the exercise world, I came across Crossfit this past summer.  While crossfit is not new and has been around for while, but has gained popularity.  I started doing the work out of the day (WOD to the crossfitters) from crossfit.com and taught myself many of the movements from online videos.  I had access to a gym with all the equipment so there was no need for me to join a crossfit gym.  Simply interested in what a gym has to offer, I headed to the Beloit Crossfit gym for a session to try it out.

The people at the gym were so accepting it was almost scary.  Such a close knit community all working out the same, maybe with different levels of fitness, but cheering each other on thought the workouts. I have heard some people say these gyms are cult like or like a frat, but I had a good feel when I was there and there were different ages and genders alike in one place, all wanting to be healthier.

Anyone tried these work outs or have thoughts on Crossfit?

Procrastination

As we all know, the past couple of weeks have been rather hectic with the semester coming to a close.  With that said, I’ve spent quite a bit of time in the library the past couple of days–most nights closing it down.  I should quickly inform you that I usually do not attend the library as I get my work done at my office in the Williams Center or at home. However, I do go to the library when I’m in dire need of extreme focus as the library tends to be that spot for me to vacate to for extra peace.   I noticed that the library this past week was extremely packed, much more packed than I’ve ever seen a library.  You could just sense a feeling of overwhelmingness amongst students as well as anxioussness to submit that last paper or study for that final test.  Tables were filled with people dressed in scrubs, cans of soda and candy spread across the table, ipods and headphones tangled in one another…just being there made me feel overwhelmed.  You could just sense that people were cramming to get things done last minute.  That brings me to the main focal point of this blog–procrastination.  Are you a major procrastinator? Are you one of those people mentioned above?  I feel like many college students are guilty of this.  Luckily, I was a student-athlete during my undergrad and was able to learn valuable time management and organizational skills that prevented me from being like one of the students in the library the past couple days.  Don’t get me wrong, however, I was a victim of procrastination throughout my beginning stages of college, and to be honest, it still bites me in the butt from time to time.

The Journey of Life

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”
~Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

Has life ever thrown you for a loop? Did you ever have a life plan or goal that didn’t go as expected?

Life always catches me by surprise. I never seem to know when my path will be re-routed or completely abandoned in general. Looking back, it is easy for me to see that everything that has happened in my life just “fits.” I didn’t always get what I planned for; but in most cases I’ve ended up with something better.

With that said, I think the best approach to life is to be comfortable with change and be willing to go where life leads you. They always say… “Life is a journey…” It truly is.