|COUNTRY DAY'S ATHLETIC MISSION & EXPECTATIONS|
Country Day Athletic Department Mission
Country Day provides the opportunity for all students to participate in athletics. We are committed to the development of the whole child and strive to build skill, team spirit, self-confidence and a winning attitude in our student athletes. Most importantly, we dedicate ourselves to ensuring a positive experience for all who participate.
Country Day Athletic Department Expectations
The athletic program provides every student in grades five through twelve the opportunity to participate on an athletic team. The goal of the Country Day athletic program is to provide the opportunity for all students to build self-confidence and team spirit, and develop their potential as individuals and members of a team to the best of their abilities. The end goal is to strive to ensure that every student athlete has a positive experience.
Coaches must recognize the enormous influence they have on the young people in their care. Good coaches have the ability to touch the lives of the players on their teams and to have impact that will be felt for years to come. Beyond teaching the basic skills of the sport, coaches must act as mentors for the student-athletes. Within the overall mission of Country Day, the sports program provides unique opportunities to support the growth of each child. For that reason, the development of each child as a person, a student, and then, an athlete is of paramount importance.
Striving for excellence and winning are important to any competitive program, and no one should be satisfied with being part of a losing organization. Successful athletic programs are a source of pride for the individuals involved and for the entire school. At the same time, however, an athletic program’s best measure of success is not necessarily its win-loss record. The school community, to include coaches, parents, and students, must recognize that the most significant standard for performance is the effort made by an individual to be his or her best and to contribute to the success of a team.
Participation in athletics provides tangible results to students in the form of increased skills and conditioning, thus demonstrating the virtue of hard work in ways that are not always as evident in other areas of school. Coaches can help students develop by helping them make reasonable assessments of their abilities and motivating them and guiding them toward improvement. Sports teach students the need to set individual and team goals, the desire to excel, and the benefit of pushing oneself to the limit.
It is also the expectation of the Athletic Department that all participants adhere to the highest standards of good sportsmanship. Coaches must model appropriate behavior for the students, demanding respect for self, teammates, coaches, officials, opponents, and spectators.
All students will be given the opportunity to participate on an athletic team. Middle School players are allowed to play on Upper School teams, and will be allowed to do so when it is in the best interests of the student and the team. Students are allowed to “play up,” but students may only play on two teams in the same sport, and then only with parent permission. Coaches will determine the general make-up of each team at the outset of the season with the intent of providing the maximum growth experience for each player and maintaining a successful program, considering such factors as seniority and tenured dedication as well as current playing ability and potential. Coaches will attempt to organize the teams so that no player is a major contributor to more than one team. In other words, a player who gets significant playing time on JV-Red will not also get significant playing time on JV-Blue. Placement of each student is the responsibility of the coaches, as is informing the student and the parent of the rationale for that placement. Recognizing the difficulty of making these decisions at the outset of a season, there must be flexibility in the system to allow for changes to be made during the season, allowing for students to be moved “up” or “down.” The highest level teams in each division will play to win, while the JV and lower teams will be developmental. Special consideration must be made to ensure that students in Lower or Middle School who play up train at a level that is appropriate to their age but also equitable in terms of training and time commitment with what is required of other players on that team.
Country Day maintains a “no-cut” policy which means that all students who join a team, attend practices, and adhere to the rules and expectations of that team will be a part of that team, to include wearing a uniform on game day and participating in all activities with the team. It is not a guarantee of playing time. Exceptions to the “no-cut” policy will only occur with the approval of the Athletic Director and Principal and will be based on extraordinary circumstances such as a lack of physical facilities.
Athletic Director Responsibilities
The Athletic Director is responsible and accountable for articulating and implementing the Mission, Expectations, and Goals of the school’s Athletic Department in accordance with Country Day and LHSAA regulations.
It is of the utmost importance in developing coaching philosophy to never lose sight of the tremendous impact that coaches are having on young people’s lives. Our coaches are with young people at their emotional heights and emotional depths, the time that they are most impressionable. It is our moral responsibility, then, to use this unique opportunity in a positive manner to help prepare our young people for life.
Coaches must recognize the importance of Country Day’s “whole child” approach to education, meaning that they understand that success in athletics is not the only concern of the student, parent, and coach. Coaches must be attuned to the academic needs of their players, and
maintain contact with teachers, especially in those cases where students are struggling with academics. Coaches should recognize that they have an extraordinary ability to motivate students to do well in classes as well as on the field or court.
Coaches must recognize the demands of the college application process, especially during a senior’s fall sports season; coaches will provide parents and students with specific travel dates for the purpose of visiting colleges. In addition, each player may miss required practices on one additional occasion for the purpose of visiting a college; coaches must also recognize the importance of college admissions testing. The student wishing to go on a college visit during the sports season must notify the coach in advance using the same procedures required by the Upper School Office and College Counselor to miss classes for a college visit; the student must also notify the coach of any college test dates that might interfere with practice or games.
Coaches must communicate effectively with parents and student athletes. Coaches should always encourage open lines of communication and dialogue with players, parents and teachers.
Communicate with the coaches in advance concerning requests to miss practice, including commitments due to the college admissions process such as testing and college visits.
Communicate with teachers when class time will be missed due to athletic events.
Take responsibility for academic work and take the initiative to negotiate with the teacher when extensions are needed to complete work.
Participate with enthusiastic dedication, self-discipline, cooperation and mental and physical commitment.
Represent the school in an appropriate manner at all times (including as a fan).
Communicate concerns through the chain of command, beginning with the coach, and then the Athletic Director, Principal, and Head of School.
Parents should attend annual meeting held by the Athletic Director and the pre-season team meetings held by the coaches of the individual sports.
Manage expectations for their children in accordance with the school’s philosophy and support the goals of the program as stated in the Country Day Athletic Department Mission and Expectations.
Encourage their children to take responsibility for communicating with the coaches; give their children the opportunity to grow within the program.
Show support to Country Day athletics through involvement through activities such as those organized by the Dad’s Club and individual teams.
Demonstrate good sportsmanship in the stands and on the sidelines.
An annual meeting will be held by the Athletic Director near the beginning of the school year – In 2011 (this fall) the parents of all student-athletes will be required to attend; after the first meeting, parents of students new to the program will be required to attend. The Athletic Director will use this event to articulate the Country Day Athletic Department Mission and Expectations, explain the procedures of the Athletic Department, and to introduce the coaching staff with an emphasis on each coach’s qualifications. Information from this meeting will be placed on the school website.
The head coach of each sport will hold a meeting for the parents of all players at the beginning of each season. In the case of fall sports that have summer workout requirements, that meeting needs to be in the spring before the school year ends. At the meeting the coach will set forth basic expectations concerning practice and games, and provide a copy of the Country Day Athletic Department Mission and Expectations to all parents. At the meeting the coach will set forth basic expectations concerning practice and games. A written document will be provided to all parents containing, but not limited to, specific information as specified by the Athletic Director. This is to ensure consistency across all sports in the program. The written document will be made available to any parents not attending the meeting and placed on the school web site.
All teams will continue to use mass e-mail and text messaging as well as the Country Day sports hotline and the web page to communicate with parents and students. Standard information about each team will be available on the school web page as well as important updates throughout the season.
To better communicate the mission, expectations, and procedures of the Athletic Department, the Athletic Director and Upper School Principal will conduct a “Coaches Retreat” each fall near the beginning of the school year. Student input to the program will be sought through communication with coaches, as well as parents and advisors. In addition, team members will complete anonymous written or on-line surveys at the conclusion of each season. The results of these surveys will be reviewed by the Athletic Director and Principal. A Student Athlete Advisory Committee, facilitated by a member of the staff appointed by the Athletic Director and composed of students representing all teams will meet monthly to provide both positive and negative feedback to the Athletic Director.