There are champion schools and champion teams. Champions have a different mentality. They do not accept the norm. They want to achieve. When champion people work together a culture of success permeates. When low achievers influence the results, championships are lost.
In America today, I believe there is an unsettling trend in education. Much can be contributed to the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. This new way of accountability for schools has increased the focus on failing schools. Trying to make everyone the same does not work.
If a coach is trying to build a team into a winner, would the coach research failing teams? Out of curiosity, do you believe a team will improve by studying the worst teams in the state? Unfortunately, the increased focus on failing schools raises some disturbing questions about how school districts identify low performance.
Problems should be addressed while there is time to assist students’ ability to improve, not wait until the year is over. Schools do not fail from one day to the next. School failure is much deeper than one year test score results. The same holds true for sports teams.
Today, society says everyone should receive the prize. In a race everyone should get a ribbon for participation instead of the winner only. This does not set well with participants wanting to be the best.
In competitive sports, there is a scoreboard. Although, many people think the effort of the players would be the same if no score was kept, I do not believe that.
Having players on teams without the same focus is like having a cancer. Before long the players without the same focus will infect the entire team. Championship teams have a group of dedicated performers striving for the same vision and willing to put forth the necessary work,
Seeing what is going on in education, lowering standards so everyone can make the grade, reminds me of a story about an economics professor. This particular professor stated he had never failed a single student before, but recently had failed an entire class.
The class had insisted on everyone receiving the same grade. The professor said he would allow the class to work together and receive the same grade. All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the averaged grade.
After the first test, the grades were posted. After averaging the grades, the grade was a B. Consequently, the entire class received a B. The students who studied hard and did A work were upset. The students that did not try very hard were elated.
The second test rolled around and the students who had studied very little did even less. The students that studied hard did very little, since they did not receive an A for their work. The second average was a D. When the third test rolled around, the average was an F.
The scores never increased. Bickering began among the students in the class. There was name calling and blaming of one another. There were hard feelings and no one studied for the benefit of anyone else.
What ended up happening was the entire class failed. The professor explained when a group works together the reward is great but it takes effort to be great. When that element of greatness is no longer rewarded, no one will try to succeed.
Teams work the same way. Reward greatness. Get the right players in leadership positions and keep standards high. Low standards and lack of vision will keep great talent from being great teams.
Thought for the week,
“You have competition every day because you set such high standards for yourself that you have to go out every day and live up to that.”
Dr. Jack Welch is a college football coach. He has served as an administrator and football coach at the high school and collegiate levels for 39 years.