Athletics can be a powerful tool in the development of young men.
By nature, athletics are highly intense. The emotional and physical investment made by boys in sports in order to win championships creates a context for powerful, formative teaching and learning. Athletics involve risks -- risks of injury, of embarrassing failure, of bitter disappointment. Athletics also provide opportunity for real achievement -- man-sized achievement -- that require mature attitudes of hard work, selflessness and critical thinking to occur.
McCallie School believes that young people should learn that their own failure or success has an impact on others. They should learn how to deal with their own limitations and work to give whatever they have toward a good cause in the service of others. They should learn that there is more of themselves to give than they assume; they learn that they are ultimately the owners of their own commitment to excellence. Whatever the experience of the individual boy, athletics provide a proving ground for the development of grit and perseverance. It is a relatively safe place to develop the qualities of manhood that have proven to be essential to a successful and happy life.
Too often, young men seek an easier and safer path. Without challenge, they can’t develop the skills necessary to meet the difficulties of adult life. In order to build strong, independent men, we have to give boys real responsibilities that involve consequences for failure or success. If we want strong men, we must give boys the opportunities to develop strength.
McCallie believes the role of the coach is to continually challenge the student-athletes to take on more responsibility and prepare them to win games, continually reminding them that their value as a person is not based on the outcome. Rather, it is the attitudes they adopt that are more important -- how they respond to triumph and disappointment. Consistency of character and effort, the willingness to give their absolute best, and the placing of the team ahead of their own interests are paramount.
McCallie School strives to win championships in order to achieve our greater purpose of developing mature, capable and selfless men.