Students are more stressed, depressed, and suicidal today than ever before in our history. They are afraid to start, terrified to fail, quick to quit, and even quicker to blame others in order to protect their image. Today’s high schools are producing some of the most acronym-proficient students (ACT, SAT, AP, high GPA), yet less than half the students who leave high school “prepared” for college are graduating in four years, if at all [try to find citation].
What we should be teaching our students, along with biology and history and language arts, is how to build grit.
Angela Duckworth, a clinical psychologist and leading researcher on the topic, defines grit as “Passion and perseverance for long-term goals,” and “Grit is living life like a marathon, not a sprint.”
One of the most influential learning opportunities in a students’ life can be the classroom of athletics.
Through Grit Leadership’s educational training and coach evaluation software, school leaders, athletic directors, teachers, and coaches will learn how to:
Control the Controllables
Though we can’t control everything in the lives of those we lead, Grit Leadership can help you change the narrative around fear of failure, need for immediate success, and resistance to taking on tough challenges.
Have a Growth Mindset
Resilient people have hope and resolve that things will get better regardless of the situation. Learn about how teaching and leading with a growth mindset can change the narrative and self talk inside our students’ heads.
Improve direct, in the moment feedback skills
Learning how to give kids positive feedback on their process, not their outcome can make a huge difference in strengthening their resolve, building their emotional stamina, and developing a growth oriented mindset.
Focus on the Process, Not the Outcome
When it comes to developing your reward systems and program structures, building to emphasize the process is a new way of thinking. Learn how to set up your program to be process focused, and emphasize the virtues that last a lifetime rather than game results that last for a day.
Become the Guide, Not the Snowplow
Every hero needs a guide, and great guides give the hero space to struggle and make their own choices, leading alongside instead of plowing the way ahead. As leaders, educators, and parents, it’s not our job to make our kids happy, or give them everything they want; it’s our job to bring forth their full potential.
Find Success Beyond Winning
Success is helping others be the best versions of themselves. We can be successful without winning games, and we can be unsuccessful while winning games. Instead of “resulting” and being dependent on wins and losses to tell us if we were successful, we need to change the measuring of success toward what we can control, and remember that success is about becoming our best, and that if someone else’s best is better than ours, we were still successful.
Lead and Evaluate Your Coaches
Use Grit Leadership’s evaluation software to gather information and feedback from people you are trying to impact the most — students. The software provides you all you need to have positive, data-driven, 1-on-1 leadership advancement meetings.
Kevin began his educational career in the Chicago suburbs nearly more than 17 years ago. Currently a middle school Athletic Director and high school Assistant Athletic Director at Grand Rapids Christian High School (Michigan), Kevin has a variety of educational leadership experience. He has been a classroom teacher, a physical education teacher, admissions counselor, and an athletic director during his time in education. He has coached a myriad of educational athletics from the middle school level up head coach of high school varsity athletics.
Kevin earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration in 2010 while working in the Chicagoland area. Six years later, he earned his Certified Athletic Administrator (CAA) designation from the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrator Association (NIAAA) in 2016. In 2018, he was named Athletic Director of the Year by the Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (MIAAA) in part for his work in the development of the Grit Leadership program.
Currently, Kevin is uniquely positioned “in the trenches” with athletic directors, coaches (current Varsity Golf Coach, Regional Coach of the Year 2021), and parents (currently has kids participating in youth athletics). He is a Teaching Fellow at Baylor University’s Center for School Leadership program as an advisor to schools around the country for Excellence in Educational Athletics. His work has touched more than 100 schools. Kevin’s evaluation software, training programs, and practical experiences are directly impacting schools in 12 states, almost 48 school systems, and counting.
Kevin has been married since 2005 to his wife Stephanie. He loves being a husband to Stephanie and a father to his son Jacob and twin daughters Abigail and Sophia.
Want to Learn More?
We’d love to learn more about your athletics program and discuss how Grit Leadership might be a good fit for your athletic department. Don’t hesitate to reach out, if your interested and would like additional information, a demo, or a risk-free, no string attached, free trial account for you and your staff.