The Louisiana High School Coaches Association Coaches Clinic held last week gave coaches something else to cross off their summer checklist. For most, the list goes something like this:
Summer league games. Check.
Team camps. Check.
Preseason practice schedule set. Check.
There are a few key things you won’t find on a typical list.
Taking on an ownership role in the LHSCA should be on every coach’s list. But it isn’t, and as the Louisiana High School Athletic Association fights to find answers to its issues, the LHSCA probably needs to do likewise.
The LHSCA can’t come up with a magic potion that solves the LHSAA’s issues between its public and private schools. But coaches can and should be part of the solution.
Coaches made their way from one clinic session to another and from one vendor to another during the three-day clinic at the Crowne Plaza. When it was time for the LHSCA’s general business meeting Tuesday afternoon, the majority of the chairs were empty. Many of the people in attendance either got awards or knew someone who did.
There were other clinic sessions and events going on. It seems like each school at the clinic should have had someone at the meeting.
The problems the LHSCA has aren’t new or unique.
I belong to the Louisiana Sports Writers Association, and we’re fighting a battle, too: how to get more people involved, especially younger people, is the question.
LHSCA Director Gary Duhe said one option might be requiring coaches and perhaps even LHSAA member principals to attend sessions.
Granted, plenty of coaches were busy with meetings involving their sport. Having at least 170 coaches attend the football forum that tackled the future of football in Louisiana is notable. I like the idea of coaches talking to each other in one room instead of about each other in a parking lot.
Where do you go from here? The popular catch phrase is, “We need to be proactive.” Does being proactive mean having someone else be active? It probably does, but it shouldn’t.
Public vs. private school is just one issue that looms large for high school coaches.
Sports medicine is another is another hot-button topic. Data on the impact and treatment of concussions is growing by leaps and bounds. It’s not just a football issue. The number of concussions reported for soccer, volleyball, track and basketball has grown.
Making sure all student-athletes have access to trainers and sports medicine professionals is another issue for many schools.
Though the LHSAA has rules in place, sportsmanship and academics are notable topics. The fact that many young coaches leave the profession after a short time is a factor.
Much of the talk over the past year has been about the future of the LHSAA. What about the LHSCA? I think we all naively assume that someone will step in and take over the leadership reins.
Schools pay membership dues so their coaches can belong to the LHSCA and get a membership card. Membership should be about more than a piece of plastic or the chance to learn a new offense.
It’s about the future of high school athletics. To me, that’s awfully important.
Follow Robin Fambrough on twitter @FambroughAdv and on the blog BR Preps at http://blogs.theadvocate.com/batonrougepreps/