The “NEXT Play Mentality” Initiative
(conceptualized by Mr. Earl Garland – Prince of Peace Lutheran School / Carrollton, Texas)
Philippians 3:13-14 “…forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
ORLS has the duty to assure that the Athletic Ministry develops life skills and promotes the development of good character as a Christian institution and as a member of the Milwaukee Lutheran Elementary School Athletic Association (MLESAA). At all practices and athletic contests, coaches, players and parents are expected to emphasize/model the proper ideals of Christian sportsmanship, ethical conduct and fair play – in other words, we strive to “show Jesus” by our actions. Further, it is our responsibility to model Christ-like behavior since ORLS is a Christian institution and we hold ourselves to that higher standard.
With this in mind, ORLS embraces the NEXT Play Mentality (NPM) initiative. When one considers the complaints or displays of bad behavior or inappropriate comments, we would agree that this happens over a play that has already occurred. The coach vehemently disagrees with a call and receives a technical over a play that has already happened. A player displays visual disgust in gestures and words that warrant a technical foul over a play that has already happened. A parent or fan screams their displeasure at an official over a play that has already happened. All of these examples are inappropriate for representatives of a Christian institution, and it is always over a past play. All the vocal protests or gestures over a play which cannot be redone or a call which cannot/will not be changed seem rather foolish. In the meantime we as coaches, players and parents miss out on being positively involved in the NEXT play–which is what we can control. We can positively impact the NEXT play, but will never do so when held captive in complaints regarding the previous play. We must engage the NEXT Play Mentality, and when we do our modeling of Christ-like behavior will emerge.
With the NEXT Play Mentality in mind…
† Model NPM in all of his/her coaching and mentoring responsibilities
† Be prompt to practices and games
† Model proper sideline behavior during games
† Be gracious in victory and accept defeat with dignity
† Deal in a respectful manner with officials and opposing coaches, without profanity or inappropriate gestures – we have a “zero technical policy” in place for coaches and players
† Refrain from teaching tactics that violate the spirit of the rules of their sport
† Hold players accountable for their behavior
† Model for opponents, teammates and fans the NPM.
† Be prompt to practices and games and communicate with the coach when missing is necessary.
† Be gracious in victory and accept defeat with dignity.
† Be respectful to others – No profanity, obscene cheers or gestures, negative signs, artificial noise makers, offensive remarks, trash talking, taunting, boastful celebrations or other actions that would not “show Jesus” well on the court.
† Treat game officials with respect – no complaining about calls during or after an athletic event
† Exercise self-control – no fighting or excessive displays of anger or frustration
† Promote healthy life-style encouraging good nutrition and rest
† Be open-minded, willing to listen and learn
† Encourage team work on and off the court
† Honor the spirit and letter of rules of the sport – avoid improper gamesmanship techniques that violate the highest traditions of sportsmanship
† Engage in positive cheering only.
† Encourage one another to demonstrate a NPM in the stands.
† Cheer positively for their team – and they are encouraged to applaud a good performance/play by the opponent (Jesus loves them as much as He loves us).
† Refrain from using artificial noise makers.
† Refrain from shouting at or making demeaning comments toward the officials or opponents.
† Support the coach even if you disagree.
† Follow proper channels of dispute resolution – Matthew 18.