Almost 20 years ago I found the organization Enjoy The Game. The sole purpose was to help, players, coaches and parents enjoy the time they spend at youth sporting events. Michigan State did a study and the results showed that kids were dropping out of sports at around age 12 or 13 because, “The adults who were involved in their games, especially their parents, have turned the playing of their games in a joyless, negative experience.” And to that I said, “SHAME ON US!”
Many school PE teaches and organizations still use the character based program and you can see banners hanging in gyms everywhere, (i.e. Park Hill South, NKC and others). ETG was endorsed by the MSHSAA as, “The best sportsmanship program on the market.” I also received endorsement letters from the National Football League, Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association.
Since my heart attack in 2005, the program has been “moth-balled”. But, today I use the ETG slogan of, “WORK HARD & HAVE FUN” as the two rules of the Stutz Basketball Academy. I tell the kids that they must come to the gym with the attitude to work hard. In fact, I don’t like the “Just Do It” slogan of Nike. Because, to me, you should not – just do it. Rather DO IT with a PURPOSE! My job is not only to train the kids, but also make it fun. Kids will work hard when they respect the way you treat them, encourage them and build a relationship with them. It makes them want to work hard because they hear upbeat and positive encouragement and be recognized for their effort and subsequent results.
Therefore, the two naturally go together.
I’ll be posting more about Enjoy The Game as time goes on.