DON KETCHUM is a native of Phoenix. He was a sportswriter for The Arizona Republic/The Phoenix Gazette for nearly four decades. He covered high school sports on several occasions as well as the Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona Cardinals and Arizona State sports. From 2008-14, he was a staff writer for, the web site of the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Annual meeting benefits Xavier coaches

Being a coach doesn’t just involve showing up at a game site, running the players out onto the field or court and then sitting back to watch.
There is much more for them to do. Sometimes they are a parental figure. They also must learn about rules changes, get updates on potential strategies, and keep the athletes informed about nutrition, hydration and many other subjects.
Xavier Prep’s athletic department, led by athletic director Sr. Lynn Winsor and associate AD Tui Selvaratnam, has long been proactive in dealing with the issues of the day.
Xavier held its annual all-day coaches’ meeting on Saturday (June 3), offering coaches in all sports and at all levels a chance to become more familiar with one another and get on board in regard to what to expect in the 2017-18 school year.
Attendees went through a coaches’ handbook and school rules and learned about an updated version of the athletic Web site and team pages.
One of the main speakers in the morning session was David Hines, recently named Executive Director of the Arizona Interscholastic Association. Hines has a wealth of experience dealing with issues across the state and says he always is impressed by how Xavier teams operate and the sportsmanship they show.
“You are the gold standard. You do it the right way,’’ he said.
Coaches and staff also watched a video on CPR and another focusing on an issue that appears to be becoming more of an issue each year – bullying and hazing. Incidents have surfaced in Arizona the last few years and some involve investigation by law enforcement authorities.
AIA rules now give coaches the opportunity to work with their athletes year-round, and they must keep up to date on what that entails.
In the afternoon session, the Positive Coaching Alliance organization gave a presentation that covered just about every issue that might come up. The discussion that was moderated by former Chicago-area basketball coach Joe Terrasi allowed audience participation and discussion.
An important topic was how high school sports can coexist with club teams.
The PCA has several chapters across the country and the one in Phoenix is led by Rich Tomey, a former executive with the Arizona Diamondbacks and the son of former long-time University of Arizona football coach Dick Tomey.
Coaches also received handouts that should help them help their teams show improvement.
One of the sheets listed 12 things it takes to win championships. Xavier has earned quite a few of those, but the buck doesn’t stop in 2016-17.
The 12 things are talent, toughness, togetherness, commitment, competitiveness, confidence, credible coaches, strong leaders, championship culture, intelligent winning game plan, performing under pressure and luck and timing.
Another sheet detailed six qualities of the world’s best captains. They are the hardest workers, they encourage teammates, are honest and trustworthy, respect others, care passionately and are relentlessly competitive and compelled to win.
It all adds up to what hopefully will be a memorable season at Xavier for athletes and coaches alike.

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